Atomised Mothers: A film about isolation, 'austerity' and the politics of parenthood

Issue date: 23 March 2015


A film about the isolation that can be felt by new mothers will have its first public screening in Bristol on 25 March. The film will be screened at the Silai Centre, 178 Easton Road at 7.30pm at an event entitled Mothers, Work and Austerity.

The film, Atomised Mothers, is the work of Dr Michal Nahman from UWE Bristol's Department of Health and Social Sciences. Dr Nahman, an anthropologist and mother of two, uses interviews and personal narration to foreground the crisis being experienced by the Bristol Children's Playhouse, and looks at the wider effects of cuts on child and family services. Taking the viewpoints of those most susceptible to isolation, namely women, the working class, migrants and those from ethnic minorities, the film asks us to think and feel what isolation is.

Dr Nahman says, “The work of parenting can be the most challenging and enriching in a person's life. As an intimate process, however, it remains largely hidden from the view of society, and can often become an isolating experience. Collective spaces such as baby groups and play centres are a vital resource for parents struggling to maintain a connection with the wider world. However, as 'austerity' bites, these points of contact are pressured to adapt to the requirements of neo-liberalism or face closure. Those on the margins of society are increasingly cut off from the public sphere, left to endure the challenge of raising children alone and in isolation.”

The event is co-hosted by UWE's Social Science Research Group, Bristol Radical Film Festival and Single Parents Action Network (SPAN). The film will be preceded by short talks and and followed by discussion with:

· Professor Harriet Bradley (UWE)

· Anna Mapson (Bristol Fawcett Society)

· Helen Mott (UWE and Bristol Fawcett Society)

· Michal Nahman (anthropologist, film director, UWE)

· Professor Debra Salmon (UWE)

This event is free to attend. More information on Atomised Mothers: Work, Austerity and Isolation is available on their Facebook page.



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