Archives for posts with tag: babies

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.

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I’m so pleased and proud to say that BABYHOOD has won an Award, after being part of Culture Unplugged Festival.

“To share with you in brief, a different guest panel of visionaries is invited for each festival to watch a small selection of films and identify the film that is most conscious in its selection of story, vision, and art of filmmaking—that awakens the global citizens and helps them usher life toward a new direction. ”

As well as making me literally jump for joy, it has propelled me into my next film with a deep sense of commitment.

This time I want to make a film that looks at childhood, in particular the process of being a child, and how the modern world is stealing so many elements of growing up from our children.

It has grown out of my questioning of the systems in place around schooling. As my 5yr old revels in the wonder of the world around him, I strive to keep that wonderment in place and have chosen not to send him to school.

Schools are testing children at younger and younger ages, and failing children at every level. Nature is being branded as a commodity, along with technology replicating real life experiences.

I want to question all of this and more.

Its complicated.

I will be uploading small clips here soon, let me know if this appeals to you, or if you have a story to tell.

peace and joy x

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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

FTDYWB

It seems like this year has whizzed past. My second little one is now reaching his first birthday, and so it is exactly a year since i finished making Babyhood.

I can’t believe how much my life has changed, but also how much my film seems to have resonated with people throughout 2012, so much so that I am involved in a pilot scheme in my area which sets out to improve the life of children.  I am part of a government funded “co-design” group, and we have decided to create a series of drop-ins specifically focused on pregnant women, new mums and mums with little one’s under a year. We are also creating an alternative Bounty Pack, which will have a copy of my film in it.

As I live in Westminster in London, we are a very densely populated ward, and therefore we are trying to help all kind of women from different backgrounds. Some of them have great attitudes towards babies, some have forgotten how to listen to their instincts. It is a great challenge, but fascinating, as what is clear from every angle is that attachment theory is something that everyone needs to be better versed in. And that gives me great joy. We are at last starting to make a difference to the lives of our children and their lives as adults if we can help them at this vulnerable and so important stage of life.

🙂

 

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?

Ban under-threes from watching television, says study | Society | The Guardian.

It’s been a long time since I found time to blog, but I am compelled after 3 articles have jumped out at me. This is the first – an article espousing the idea of letting your under-three watch TV. I personally agree, and have done my very best to live a screen-free existence with my little one (who has just turned 3 btw). That has meant he has only a brief idea of the joys of technology, however even though I have tried to limit his exposure he LOVES playing on anyone’s phone and can’t help but be drawn to devices whenever an unsuspecting friend gets theirs out of their pocket! He has also watched an animated film or 2 but seldom enough that he doesn’t bug me about watching one when he is bored, for the moment!

I was interested in one of the comments which tries to say the research doesn’t include the recent phenomenon of apps disguised as fun games but really educational programmes, and therefore he was planning on letting his 12month old free use of his iphone. I was particularly interested in this as I can’t imagine anything more sad than a tiny little person with her head stuck to an iphone. I don’t think he has even considered the tantrums he will have on his hands when she is expected to hand back this “toy”. And here ispeak from experience. Whenever my eldest has been exposed to a device of any kind, getting it back from him can almost always cause a huge tantrum. When I am offered strangers phones on trains to help distract my son in the middle of a “mood swing” I turn them down as it is just prolonging the inevitable, when the kind stranger has to leave the train and wants his/her phone back!

And this is the problem, we think we can quick fix everything – including our child’s introduction to this amazing world we live in full of this amazing technology….all the time forgetting that on an evolutionary level we still have stone age brains and we need to learn how to do things through experience… and real life is not conveyed through a device.

I got my first phone when I was 19. It was a great thing. I have some idea of what life was like without being at the mercy of my phone. I would like to allow my child that same freedom. I don’t think that is unreasonable.

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 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.