In October, we launched our transnational book club, The idea was to bring members together to discuss books with transformative potential. After all, if so can shared literary experiences. 

For our first book selection, we focused on the subject of death and dying. I chose by Jason de León, which inspired my investigation into

As part of my investigation into I became interested in the types of deaths that can be reduced to simple statistics. Maternal mortality is one example. If death can provide insights into structural discrimination, perhaps we can also glean some knowledge from people’s experiences of bringing life into the world. 

maternal mortality is "the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes". 

Pregnancy and childbirth can also result in other undesirable outcomes. In El Salvador, the criminalisation of abortion is linked to 

In Nigeria, After the successful delivery of her baby via caesarean section, Folake Oduyoye was unable to pay her medical bill. Her husband claims that the hospital held her without care until she died of sepsis. 

And for people whose gender identity or sexual orientation places them in the minority, pregnancy and childbirth can be very fraught. an honorary research associate at the University of Hull, "the physical and mental health needs of pregnant lesbians and trans men are hugely understudied, and so poorly understood". In one instance,

For the next book selection, I would like members to recommend literature on the physical, social and other impacts of pregnancy and childbirth. Recommend books by experts, mothers and other birth parents, and writers ruminating on the realities of pregnancy today. 

In January, I’ll announce the chosen book, and we’ll come together to discuss the lessons we can learn from the simple (or not so simple) process of bringing life into the world.

Dig deeper

Collage of photographic portraits, underneath every one a pantone code is written out in text. The background for each portrait is tinted with a color tone identical to a sample of 11 x 11 pixels taken from the nose of the subject and matched with the industrial pallet Pantone®. In the collage everyone has a different pantone code, and there is a large variety of ethnicities. Collage of photographic portraits, underneath every one a pantone code is written out in text. The background for each portrait is tinted with a color tone identical to a sample of 11 x 11 pixels taken from the nose of the subject and matched with the industrial pallet Pantone®. In the collage everyone has a different pantone code, and there is a large variety of ethnicities. The stick figure on the door: unconscious ways we exclude each other Difference is innately human. Indignity and discrimination are not. We need to be able to recognise what makes a person distinctive, without losing sight of what we all share. Read more here.