The Nurture & Care Project: The Importance of Accepting Breastfeeding in Public Spaces

Photography: Valeria Alves da Florencia

Argentinian photographer Valeria Alves da Florencia documents human connection. Her most recent focus is the The Nurture & Care Project, which aims to create a space for visibility, awareness and discussion about the importance of accepting breastfeeding in public spaces, and the necessity of leaving prejudices behind, no matter the age of the baby.

Having studied photography and also worked in several areas of television and audiovisual production companies, she has gained a considerable amount of valuable experience going on to teach for ten years right up to University level. Her interests are primarily devoted to issues of human spiritual nature, healing and origins. “I basically dive into emotional story-telling,” she says. For the last eight years, her photographic work is directly related with feminine themes. We spoke to Valeria to find out more about this wonderful project, and share a few of her photographs.

“I started to photograph women bonded to their babies and kids in their own daily spaces, capturing their particular gestures, their ways to move in intimacy, their singular ways of looking at the world,” she says. “These spaces have been enriching to listen, to register stories, struggles and needs of many women from diverse backgrounds.
At the moment, I also undertake conceptual projects related to feminine genealogies. Women’s female ancestral and emotional universe is a subject which means excitement and commitment for me.”

What is your project about? What do you hope to achieve with your project?

After solo traveling for several months across Europe in 2011/2012, I got the chance to listen and learn about different realities of women facing breastfeeding and the fact that they were expected to wean after the sixth month of the baby.

I went back to Argentina thinking that something wasn’t working, that something was missing. In these countries, so-called “developed”, something as basic and natural as breastfeeding was being rejected, censored and restricted in most cases.

The Nurture & Care Project aims to create a space for visibility, awareness and discussion about the importance of accepting breastfeeding in public spaces, and the necessity of leaving prejudices behind, in spite the age of the baby. This is a global need.

My images don’t only show women breastfeeding, but also the public environments in which they usually do so.

Many women do not resign their right to breastfeed their children, although this would involve a social rejection. Many others resign, fighting against various views of criticism, censure, even within the most intimate family members.

We live in a world which mostly stimulates a culture of death and rejects a natural act that nurtures life.

This photographic project aims to open a space to think about the freedom of rising and taking care of children in the present moment, in between all of these paradoxes. Up to date, more than 115 women from 10 different countries have been photographed for this project (Argentina, Spain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Croatia, United States).

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