Zuma

2012, Video, 12:26 (Colour

by Sharon Alward

UPDATED “A woman in white—alone, walking barefoot on snow and ice—wends her way over jagged freezing rocks. The woman is Sharon Alward, providing us with a powerful symbol of the pain and exile experienced by many thousands of Canadian mothers. These are not ordinary mothers. They are women who have been marginalized by the decades-old cruel practice of separating unmarried mothers from their babies.” -(Karen Lynn, President, Canadian Council of Natural Mothers.) A performance ritual of grief, reconciliation and healing, Zuma explores the social construction of “shadow mothers”. I was an “unwed mother” one of millions of unmarried pregnant women throughout Canada, the US, Great Britain, Australia and Ireland, during the “Baby Scoop Era” placed in a home in 1971 at the age of 17 and was forced to relinquish my baby girl without ever seeing her. This is my story of loss. Zuma is both a physical place and a metaphor for ambiguous loss.

ISBN 978-1-77063-142-7

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