Poland has one of Europe's most restrictive abortion laws. Its devastating impact on the lives of women and all those in need of abortion continues. However language also plays a crucial role in shaping the dialogue and discourse surrounding reproductive rights.
Pro-life advocates are talking about "tragic decisions" or "necessary evil". On one side there is "life" and on the other side "death". The words "pregnant woman" were replaced by "mother" and "fetus" replaced by "unborn baby" or simply "life". Even the word abortion is often being replaced by "murder" or "killing".
During the 19th century, weaving was one of the important occupations of women in many households in Poland. They became heirlooms passed on from generation to generation. The tapestries are woven with newspaper articles regarding abortion from both the pro-choice and pro-life sides. The used language creates a complex and often confusing narrative, thus weaving it together highlights this interconnection.The form of the tapestries emphasizes a tension between traditional view on the role of women and their struggles toward reproductive rights in the contemporary context.
Part of "Breaking news" exhibition Non-Linear Narrative at Royal Academy of Arts Den Haag, 2022 ,