Thursday, 22 October 2009

Magnum: In Silence: Susan Meiselas

© 2009 Susan Meiselas/Magnum-All Rights Reserved

In Silence is the beautiful and powerful work (a combination of still photography and video) by Susan Meiselas as featured by Magnum In Motion which deals with the tens of thousands of Indian women and girls who die during pregnancy, while in childbirth, and in the weeks after giving birth, despite the Indian government's programs guaranteeing free obstetric health care.

Each year half a million women around the world die in childbirth. Twenty percent of those deaths are in India, and most are preventable with access to proper healthcare. Both photographer Meiselas and reporter Dumeetha Luthra traveled to India for Human Rights Watch to retrace the steps of one woman who dies after giving birth to a son.

I watched this feature a couple of times, saddened by the combination of red tape, ignorance, indifference, by the overwhelmed doctors and staff, and by the undercurrent of corruption at the Indian clinics...all of which indirectly and directly cause this high level of mortality.