Archives for category: Babyhood film

I am very excited to be part of the Film Nights scheme that Connected Baby has started.

Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk, whom I interviewed in my film Babyhood, has set this up to bring groups together to watch films that “offer insights into the power of connection”, and then have a discussion around the subjects raised. Whenever I have shown my film, the discussions afterwards are the most interesting, and I am so pleased this will be happening in September throughout the UK!

Please contact Connected Baby if you want to host a night too!

She has written a great introduction to my film, which flatters me and i want to copy here!!

September’s film is the Award-winning film BABYHOOD, released in 2012.  Made by London-based independent filmmaker Kate Jangra, this documentary film explores the contemporary context in which our society is raising young children

Jangra asks: What might parenting look like in the absence of what she sees as today’s ‘parenting props’ – consumerism, the media, and parenting experts?   The project was born from Jangra’s experience of having her first child, which led her to question herself and everything she had thought of as ‘normal’ up to that point.

The film won the Culture Unplugged’s Award for Film-makers’ Choice – Conscious Art, in 2015.  It was chosen because represented, in the judges’ view, “the film that was most conscious in its selection of story, vision, and art of filmmaking in its ability to awaken global citizens and help them to usher life toward a new direction.”  Who wouldn’t want to see a film that achieves such accolades?!

The film has also received attention for its relevance to professional practice. For example, Canterbury College has licensed it to be shown to students enrolled in courses for working in preschool settings.

The film includes interviews with a range of fascinating commentators:

     Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood;

     Sue Gerhardt, author of Why Love Matters;

     John Carnochan, previous Co-Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit;

     Camilla Batmanghelidjh, Director of charity Kids Company;

     Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, founder of connected baby;

     Hollie McNish, award-winning rap poet.

Come and join us for an opportunity to think in depth about the context in which our babies are growing up.

film-nights-flyer

Babyhood has been licensed by Canterbury College. The early years teachers want to use it to show to their students planning to work in pre-school settings. I’m over the moon and hope it will prove a trusty companion to the other resource material. In fact I’m fascinated to know what is on the rest of the course!

DVD

I have just made a new batch of DVD’s that are now ready to buy for £9.99 plus P&P. Get them while you can!
email me: katejangra [at] gmail [dot] com

 

What’s the difference between these two brains? – Telegraph.

 

OK – this is scary, and very important. Whatever you might think about these 2 images, it is clear that there is something fundamental being scientifically proven and illustrated.

I want to try to explain it in the terms it was explained to me, that made such an impact on me and the film I ended up making.

When we are born our brains are not developed to the extent they need to be to function as a social being. This “growing” happens from the moment we are born, through the interaction we receive with our carers, specifically our primary care-giver. Our brains need the love and care of a maternal, or paternal carer to connect and grow. This needs to happen from the moment we are born, or some would say the moment we are conceived.

It’s that simple.

This is what makes us go on to live our lives and determines how we function. By the age of 18 months we have learned a HUGE amount about the world and our brains have formed accordingly. If we haven’t felt love our brain literally doesn’t grow, I imagine it is a little like a flower withering. This is tragic.

As Suzanne Zeedyk has said about the debate surrounding this article :

That debate shows us, once again, that it is one thing for us (as a society) to know this information.  It is another thing to think about what it feels like to know this information.  The debate in response to this article gives a very good sense of how unsettling the information can be.

It has made me want to try to define LOVE in those first few months and years. It has made me want to help people, especially mothers, who may not have felt love, to feel it and therefore start to give it to those around them. How does it feel to be neglected like that? It pains me to even begin to imagine how many people haven’t been shown love by each preceding generation. How do we break the cycle?

And most of all for all those babies out there being born every minute of every day, can we start to do our best to show them what Love is?

I just found this review of Babyhood on Sausage Mama.

How I wish I’d seen this documentary when I was first pregnant. How I wish I’d seen this when I was pregnant again, so I could be gently reminded what direction I wanted things to go in parenting wise with my toddler. How THANKFUL I am to see this now, when we seem to have gotten a little unbalanced with technology and ‘entertainment’ instead of ‘playing’ with my 4 year old and my almost 2 year old. As always, I’m reminded to simplify, simplify. Just as I’m getting ansy about not getting back into the workforce yet, because I would like some nice stuff for once, I’m thankful to be brought back down to Earth.

I am so pleased to find things like this out there! Thanks Sausage Mama!!

So it’s World Breastfeeding Week, and by chance I happened to take my LO’s to see the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum and we then popped over to the V&A to paddle in their lovely courtyard. On our way into the V&A there was this statue that seemed (there was one at the top and one at the bottom) to show us the way we could go using the ramps – we had buggies and slings on!  Nicely timed I thought. Its made by a french artist called Jules Dalou in around 1873…long time ago. I wish i could breastfeed this confidently in public!!

Anyway Babyhood is also showing as part of the Breastfeeding Festival on the 11th August. If you are in the area! Hope to write a bit more soon, but don’t seem to get more than a minute to myself these days!

I just watched Plan B’s TEDx talk. I am full of admiration for him and feel there are a few parallels in my film. Especially the stuff  he says about the riots. It is time we face up to this demonisation of young people and turn it around. It has been going on so long it is ingrained and no wonder so many people can’t see straight, and are so quick to judge. I have worked with and try to keep in touch with some of my local young people, and they don’t feel like “society” cares about them.

Camila Batmanghelidjh said to me during my interview with her:

i think the political world is missing a trick, because it’s continuously described these children and young people at street level in a derogatory way so its referred to them as feral, scroungers, benefit , lazy characters and so on and what that does is that it pushes the child more into a space of shame with this all-powerful all-encompassing leading figure represented by government and the narratives of the media , its seen as having all the power. after a while what will happen is a collective of the powerless will emerge , where they all get together and they all describe the abuse of the powerful, and what we could feel at street level, was actually that the tension was building up and the rage was building up and the kids were saying “the government hates us, they don’t care about us.” what they couldn’t hear from the government is anything about protecting them, had the government said in its narrative, “all children deserve protection and care, we find it unacceptable for children and young people to be in threatening gangs when they should be flourishing and having a sense of safety”, then those kids in gangs would be thinking they are talking about us they want to protect us, so they are on our side, and your chances of then that child pulling away from that gang and joining mainstream society is greater then is you just keep that child in the bad corner, and i think in that sense the government missed a trick.

I hope that Plan B’s work and iLL Manors do something towards changing public attitudes towards young people. And my film too! 😉

check this out too…

i feel compelled to write about why i had to make my film and what i hope it might achieve.

when i got pregnant i was running a small business and spent much of my time working. As my tummy grew i started to take my foot off the peddle and felt a growing desire to experience the process my body was going through. It was an amazing thing, and out of this awe came a deep sense of respect for my body as a woman and for this baby who was growing inside me.

When i eventually gave birth I felt as if i was reborn myself, nothing i had done previously in my entire life even started to compare to the elation of giving birth to this baby. I can look at the photo’s taken at that moment now and feel again the freshness of birth, the feat of birthing, the pain mixed with pure pure joy. the overwhelming love of this immaculate creature.

the next weeks and months are a blur, but what i do remember was listening to the communication my baby was showing me. each cry meant something, and i would spend hours trying to decipher it. i would sometimes be outside and hear other babies crying and feel compelled to pick them up and comfort them, allowing them the release of their emotions and letting them know that their cry did mean something to this wide open space they have now come to inhabit. Imagining the cosy comfort of a womb, and the beauty of always being nourished without having even conceived those feelings of hunger, air, cold, noise, space…

listening to our babies first cries is probably the first way we can start to see them as individuals, begin to understand that they too will grow up and be people just like us one day.

and for me the responsibility sometimes seemed too much to bear, the idea that through our relationship i would help him to become a confident, secure, loved and loving individual. Huge. But each day i would find myself growing with him, allowing him to discover the world around him and being there for him to come back to my warm embrace when his exploring took him out of his comfort zone. My respect for him grew, and in the first year i tried not to lay any boundaries, so that he would be true to his primal instincts without me layering my experiences of the world on top of his, so he became a mini version of me. i found other ways of saying no. He climbed the stairs, we spent hours walking the streets so he could open and close every gate. i found a way of being able to respond to his cries of pain in a way that didn’t communicate my feelings of worry to him. our love affair grew and grew, and continues to grow and i learned to respect him as a human being.

Respecting our babies and children means listening to them, means not lying to them, means finding strategies to help them to form boundaries, means not hitting them, not punishing them, not feeding them a load of junk that has huge health implications for them in the future. I made my film in order to address these issues, to help other mothers out there to listen to their own instincts and find their own way with their babies. But most of all to give our babies a sense of ease in the world, to feel they do have a voice, and it is as important as any other.

we are all equal.

we need to realise this and believe it.

we can do anything, we just need to trust ourselves.

our babies arrive in moments of passion and pleasure – lest we forget

this is human. this is life. respect it.

I have just watched a programme on BBC2 called Babies in the Office. It is about a company in the UK called Addison Lee allowing their staff to bring their babies to work in order to save money on the ridiculous expense of childcare, and to integrate work and home life more efficiently.

It was fascinating viewing and a lot of the issues raised are dealt with in my film Babyhood. In fact, I took my baby to work with me while I filmed the interviews with the contributors for Babyhood, and mostly I managed to time it that my son had a nap, but if that didn’t work you can hear him in the background! It really made me adjust my behaviour accordingly. I slowed my approach down, made decisions about what was important and what really didn’t matter, and generally lived balancing them both – my desire to create a film and his needs as an 17month old baby…It was hard, but no harder than finding ways to occupy a baby anyway, ask any stay-at-home mum…

What i think it highlighted was the need for community to come together to help families look after their babies. Sarah Hrdy who wrote a book called Mothers and Others argues about the importance of co-operative childcare in our evolution (the biological term being “alloparental care” – childcare beyond mother and father). Just watching the office scene’s there is already an amazing amount of support for the mothers and children from their colleagues. We need to live in a society that embraces all aspects of life, not compartmentalizing each element. No wonder first time mothers feel so isolated.

The programme also told us that this is something that is already being done in the US, and is a growing trend. It seems as if there is a zeitgeist building, and gathering momentum which gives me a great deal of faith in human spirit.

Well done addison lee! It makes me like you more as a company! I will definitely use you in the future now! Well done for piloting it and i hope a few more UK companies will adopt it’s policies.

Here is an article from the BBC about eight other solutions to our childcare issues – have a read…

BBC News – Eight radical solutions to the childcare issue.