Monday, 20 December 2010

Wendy Marijnissen: A Year In Pakistan

Based in Antwerp, Wendy Marijnissen is a freelance documentary photographer from Belgium, who has a career in looking for, and reporting on, stories with a social context. She completed a long term reportage in Israel and Palestine, using music to show a different part of daily life in this stressful and violent region. She's currently working on a new project about childbirth and maternal mortality in Pakistan, of which some of her compelling photographs can be seen in the above movie.

Another of Wendy's compelling photo essays is on the dai. A dai (or dayah in Arabic) is a traditional midwife or birth attendant in the Middle East, and Pakistan. Midwifery skills are usually passed on from generation to generation and most practitioners have had no formal training.

The unhygienic conditions in which the dai work, their lack of education and the delayed referral to hospitals in case of complications are the major cause for the high maternal mortality rate in Pakistan.