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Series

M/OTHER

M/OTHER is a weekend of fearless conversation about the ways ‘motherhood’ is experienced, portrayed and labelled by those who mother, have been mothered, wish they were mothers, do not identify as mothers, cannot or do not want to mother, and by society at-large.

Featuring a line-up of international and Australian writers, thinkers and creators, M/OTHER acts as a conversation starter for complex topics such as the birthing body, maternal figures, the perinatal health system, and gendered roles in parenting. By bringing these often overlooked or taboo topics into the public sphere, the series seeks to challenge, offer comfort, and value the myriad experiences of people, without presuming any easy answers.

 

M/OTHER centres audacious and frank discussion on the immense joy, exhaustion, creativity, fury, and strength that mothers derive from their roles, and interrogates the word ‘mother’ itself.

 

Join the conversation at the Wheeler Centre from 3 to 5 March 2023.

 

 

 

 


 


From the programmers, Bec Kavanagh and Jamila Khodja

 


 

Bec Kavanagh: ‘I’ve found motherhood to be the loneliest time but also a place where I’ve made the deepest connections. It’s been a place of fury and exhaustion as well as giddy joy and wonder. There’s the duality and complexity in motherhood that’s lacking in so many conversations about it, and in policy and practice. We’re so limited in the way we talk about motherhood, which is crazy when there’s so much we need to discuss.

M/OTHER is borne from necessity and from the many conversations we’ve had as mothers struggling to make sense of our experiences against the rigid, outdated frameworks available. This is just the beginning.’

 

Jamila Khodja: ‘Becoming a mother is an experience unlike anything else – transformative, joyful, exhausting; it almost defies logic. And yet.

This series was conceived (pun intended) by two mothers who wanted to see our own experiences, frustrations and achievements reflected in the public conversation, as we felt that the true nature of the motherhood experience is so often left unexplored.

M/OTHER is an opportunity for people to find community and connection, but also to ask the hard questions and tell the hard stories. What does it mean to be a mother, want to be one, have no interest in being one? This is a series created with an enormous amount of love, and we hope it reaches those who need to hear it most.’

 

Read a conversation between Bec Kavanagh and Jamila Khodja here

 


 

This series may include reference to difficult topics, such as mental health, reproductive rights, and childbirth. If you need assistance with any of these issues, you can learn more and seek advice via the Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE), Perintal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) and Beyond Blue.

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.