What is Mère à tout prix?

Mère à tout prix is an artistic project about the experience of abuse in assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in Québec, in conjunction with the McConnell-Université de Montréal Research-Creation Chair on the Reappropration of Maternity and Centre d'exposition de l'Université de Montréal (CEUM) chairematernite.com/heidi-barkun/

The Chair McConnell-UdeM is interested in the contemporary issue of obstetrical violence within the larger context of violence against women. 

Mère à tout prix is supported by Université de Montréal, the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art, and the Canada Council for the Arts.
What are the objectives of this project?
This project aims to use the artistic process to liberate the voices and bodies of women and 2SLGBTQIA+ persons with regards to abuse experienced during fertility treatments in Québec.

This project aims to use the artistic process to understand the points of view of Quebec professionals regarding notions of abuse by creating spaces for speaking and listening.

This project will generate artworks and a research paper about the experience of abuse in ART in Quebec.
What is abuse in ART?

In 2019, Nathan Hodson and Susan Bewley published the first systematic review of abuse in ART. The authors looked at the negative consequences lived by users of ART following instances of abuse of power like physical, psychological or financial violence.

If you are unsure whether to qualify your experience as abuse and want participate in the project, please get in touch. I welcome all uncertainty. You don't have to do all the work on your own. We'll find the words together.

For more information on abuse in ART, please consult the article by Hodson and Bewley: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301211519302489

This great resumé of the study by Alison Motluk: https://www.heyreprotech.com/p/defining-abuse-in-assisted-reproduction

The advocacy work of Pamela Tsigdinos regarding abusive behaviors in ART: https://www.reprotechtruths.org/
Who is conducting the research?
I am a chronically ill and disabled white cis woman, heterosexual, middle class,  settler and the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of immigrants to Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal, where I live.

My transdisciplinary feminist pratice is articulated around questions of identity,  illness and failure. My interest in infertility and ART stems from four years of failed attempts of in vitro fertlization.

For more information about my journey please click on bio in the main menu.
Who can participate?
This project aims to include voices of those who use ART and professionals familiar with ART in Québec.

I am looking for: 
  • Any woman, gender fluid, nonbinary or two-spirit person who has used assisted reproduction in Quebec and who has experienced physical, psychological and/or financial abuse during their treatments.
  • Any person working in the health care system or working as researcher or other professional familiar with ART in Quebec.
What is does participation involve?
Each participant will be asked to take part in a recorded private telephone conversation about their experiences related to abuse in ART in Québec. 

Each participant is encouraged to donate or loan any artefacts relating to their experiences in ART.
How will your privacy be protected?
All interviews will be conducted using voice recording equipment. All recordings will be used exclusively by me to create artworks and write a research paper.  

Should you wish to stay anonymous, your name and all identifying information will be safeguarded from public view. 

**This project has been approved by the Comité d’éthique de la recherche en Sciences et en Santé at Université de Montréal: CERSES-20-143-D**
What will happen to the artworks produced?
A final group exhibition will be presented at the Centre d'exposition de l'Université de Montréal (CEUM) in 2024: https://www.centre-expo-udem.com/

Smaller exhibitions are planned for 2021, 2022 and 2023, the first of which will be presented online at CEUM in September 2021.
Where can I get more information?
Please email me at info@heidibarkun.com and put Mère à tout prix in the subject line. I will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

For more information about the work of the Chair, please visit their website: https://chairematernite.ca/

You can also email Marianne Cloutier, the curator and coordinator of the Chair at marianne.cloutier.1@umontreal.ca

Thanks so much for your consideration!