Why a book on infertility?

This photographic project started two years ago and has evolved into a book with a specific goal, that of normalizing infertility, breaking down a taboo that makes us feel defective and unsuitable but above all alone. There is little discussion of infertility, the media rarely talks about it either on a medical-scientific level or on a social level. Yet it is a very widespread issue.

While frequenting the many waiting rooms, I looked for someone next to me to talk to about how you can feel transformed while spending time waiting for the good follicle. Soon I began to feel the inadequacy of being infertile, different, less feminine and not maternal. Guilt swirled in my head, _you wasted your time, you had too many partners, you are not complete and your moment has passed. You have worked too much and you can't have everything in life, you know._ These thoughts keep you company while you wait for anesthesia or a new exam. And in the meantime you deal with the fear of growing old alone, without ever having been called a mother.

Maybe it's time to put a spotlight on all of this and all these women on the journey to have a child. This book, made up of the faces and stories of 100 women, proves to be that beacon, a lighthouse that serves as emotional orientation and as a light to navigate.

with this precise aim, the lens of my camera became a means through which every woman could tell the intimacies of her own story. Women who, in sharing, stopped feeling ashamed and opened up with generosity and togetherness. At the same time it is also a great responsibility for me, since a single shot summarises a story, in many cases lasting years, that I tried to condense by capturing its essence. I joined these women in their cities, from Italy to England, creating sometimes improvised sets. I shot them in natural sunlight, at sunrise or sunset, in the wind, in the rain, in the heat. I made them climb, get in water fully dressed and sometimes take some risks. But they were there and they let themselves share with a thousand smiles and with their whole range of emotions.

"One of Many" is this, a great collective work and also motivation to raise one's head and smile, a motivation that passes through 100 portraits of courageous women who literally "put their face into it".

Each portrait is accompanied by an anecdote, a flash of a perhaps complex story, to cast a sensitive gaze on the world of infertility, which ranges from frustration to irony, from discouragement to hope. There are 99 portraits plus one - mine.

I am Valentina and I am one of many

“We’re not here. I don’t like the medic that just opened the door calling my number. “16816”. We’re called a second time. What do I do? All the magazines are taken, I can’t pretend to be distracted by the gossip columns. This is the benefit of a big bag; I plunged my head into the depths of my handbag, like a rabbit seeking comfort in its burrow. In this order: I have also worn headphones pretending to listen to music, made spontaneous phone calls and I even staged a drop in my blood sugar levels. Navigating appointments to make sure I was only seen by a gynaecologist that I felt comfortable with became a second full-time job. Even though the clinic was considered one of the best, being reduced to a number did not sit well with me. To feel at ease, I needed someone who could remember my name: Valentina. ”...

The Author

Loredana Vanini was born in Rome in 1975. A curious and sensitive spirit, she likes to observe the world and its facets from multiple angles. Difficult to see her stand still before an obstacle, hers is a look that passes through. And it is precisely by peeking through a keyhole that she discovered photography as a child. Behind a closed door, the bathroom turned into a dark room improvised by her father. Between the pungent smell of developing acids and the sight of the images that took shape, the seed of a passion was born that over the years would reveal her professional destiny. Loredana came to the camera with an indirect route, surveying the secrets of light, shots and poses, in the long years of backstage in which she worked as a make-up artist alongside photographers and directors. It was a useful time in which skills were refined and desires took on defined contours. At 33, her eye, trained to grasp atmospheres and suggestions, moved behind the lens, with a clearly recognisable visual language. Experiments with catalogs and creative projects began. Shot after shot, the camera became the chosen tool with which to observe the world and return a personal vision of it. Her spontaneous and stubborn gaze captures details and unites fragments to create stories like hers and that of 99 other women who are "one of many". With the diagnosis of infertility, Loredana entered an unknown reality, made up of women who silently crowd the waiting rooms, looking down. Women that prejudices and taboos have made lonely, but that Loredana decides to recount with the instrument that best represents her. Thus was born the photographic project "One of Many", 99 + 1 stories about infertility. Loredana lives and works as a photographer in Rome with many artistic projects in the pipeline. Eleonora Pucci

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