2020 Photo Contest, Portraits, Stories, 2nd Prize

Between Right and Shame

Photographer

Tatsiana Tkachova

28 September, 2018

Diana (91) had her leg amputated when she was very young and fell pregnant at the age of 20. The father and she were in a casual relationship and he left her when he found out. His mother said she did not want a crippled daughter-in-law. Diana felt nobody needed her with her disability, never again allowed anybody to come close, and never married.

Belarus abortion laws allow termination on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and in certain medical or social circumstances up to 28 weeks, which places them among the most liberal in Europe. Nevertheless, abortion is still a taboo for many women, and many are reluctant to admit they have had a termination. ‘No abortion week’ campaigns are held annually, and the decision to have a termination is often accompanied by a sense of shame. In this project, Belarusian women who have considered or undergone abortion tell their stories. The women had a range of concerns behind their decisions surrounding abortion—from contamination after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to fear of poverty, not wanting to be a single parent, or a background of sexual abuse. As their decisions were often made with difficulty, in this story they did not want to show their faces and their names have been changed.

About the photographer

Tatsiana Tkachova

Tatsiana Tkachova is a photographer based in Minsk, Belarus. Tkachova graduated from the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts with a Culturology Degree in 2014, and...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/125
ISO
800
Camera
Fujifilm X100T

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