Do you want to be a parent?
How do you know when you’re ready?
Do you really know when you’re ready?
What’s stopping you? What’s pushing you?
What impact might your career, your age, your ethnic or racial background, your sexual identity or gender have on your decision?
These questions, along with many more, were the inspiration behind Anaïs Van Eycken’s latest choreographic work: Matki. A solo dance performance which allows the audience to turn a critical eye to the theme of motherhood.
In collaboration with Matki, a group of students from KU Leuven have created a project to start a new type of conversation around Motherhood. What began as an attempt to answer these questions, to navigate a pathway through the topic of Motherhood, only resulted in even more questions and even less of a sense of direction. It soon became clear that these questions can’t be answered. They should, in fact, be celebrated. There is something beautiful in allowing questions to be unanswerable, in questioning the questions and in accepting the uncertainty.
The topic of Motherhood needs to be opened into a conversation, a multitude of voices, a storm of questions without answers and without the pressure to be ‘correct’.
Bearing Questions is a platform where this new type of conversation can take place. It does so by going back to the basics: the letter. Bearing Questions is a letter writing chain: each letter contains a new question around motherhood and a new voice which questions the question that came before. Basically it is a lot of questions and a lot of non-answers!
This chain reflects the process of developing this project, the fact that talking about motherhood is mainly a process of one question leading to another, and another and another. Never really coming to a definite or ‘right’ answer.
These letters will be published online on our digital book: Bearing Questions: An Incomplete Guide to Motherhood.This book opposes the majority of handbooks about motherhood – and there are many – by raising questions, not answering them. It pieces the letter chains back together, allowing the reader to follow the development of each question. To see how one idea can flourish when so many voices are heard. When there is no pressure to be ‘right’ and where no answer can be ‘wrong’. The publication will remain a ‘work in progress’ that can be continuously added to, because the conversation around Motherhood can never be, or should never be, completed. Bearing Questions extends Matki into something more than the performance itself, bringing it into the community and making culture a conversation, not just an event.
The premiere of Matki will be taking place online on 26th March 2021, along with an aftershow talk. You can get your tickets here!
The digital publication: Bearing Questions: An Incomplete Guide to Motherhood goes live on 2nd April. To get a reminder when it’s published, just sign up here.
To participate in the Bearing Questions letter chain, please contact us on Instagram or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mother, father, woman, man, trans, nonbinary, straight, gay, bisexual, queer, asexual and any label or nonlabel in between… we welcome your voice in the conversation.