DPI Alum Alice Proujansky publishes photo essay in NY Times

Friday, Mar 12, 2021

Photography & Imaging alumnus Alice Proujansky (BFA '02) recently published a photo essay "Why Black Women Are Rejecting Hospitals in Search of Better Births" focusing on Birthing Centers in New Jersey. Throughout her career as a photojournalist and documentarian, Alice has specialized in depcting motherhood in all its diverse forms.

Anastasia Onque was born just before midnight on a cold New Jersey evening in January. Jamira Eaddy-Onque pushed her out into the hands of a midwife, who set the baby on her mother’s chest. Ali Onque, the baby’s father, stretched a newborn hat over Anastasia’s wet hair, kissing her again and again as he lay with her and Ms. Eaddy-Onque in a wide, comfortable bed. The lights were dimmed and soft music was playing in the background.

The little family was safe and healthy. But this birth took place in a distressing context: New Jersey has the fourth highest maternal mortality rate in the United States, which as a country has the worst rates of maternal mortality in the industrialized world. Increasingly, experts are concluding that these grim rates are caused by racial inequities in America’s health care system.