Maria, a love story

Séverine Sajous

2019 - Ongoing

"Maria. A love story" define the impact the birth of my daughter Zelie, now 2 years, has had on the life of my neighbour Maria, a 75 year old widow.

Adapting to the new social context of the last decades, the classic idea of the family as an institution is being modified. The basic archetype par excellence in traditional societies of the family made up of two parents (a father and a mother) with various children and an extended family (of different generations) is being displaced. In industrialized societies there is an increasing number of single-parent families with no extended family close by, which is my case. Like many other young, single, parents, I depend on friends and neighbours for support instead of family. Leaving the “door open” to friends and neighbours allows for an intertwining of intimate space and allows new and different family frameworks to form which adapt directly to need and circumstance.

Around the popular and traditional and religious connotation of the name of Maria which is that of my neighbor, I reveal my own questions and secrecy around the theme of motherhood.

{{ readMoreButton }}

  • Selfportrait.

  • The encounter First ultrasound of Zelie where I learned that I was pregnant. I had not planned to get pregnant but I wondered if it really was and deep down I think it wasn't. There was a desire to be a mother, perhaps not in this way. I had the need to affirm that it was an accident for fear of the reactions of my people. Recording phrases: "You don't have a stable situation, you impose an end to your career." This was not so. Letter to Zelie Letter to Zelie where I explain her story and meet her father when I lived in Lebanon.

  • Zelie's birthday photo at Maria' home on October 26, 2019. Now she is two years old. "Annual" Whatsap of Ahmed, father of Zelie on November 2, 2019. Paper destined for Zelie to open at age 7 where I explain the enigma of the date of her birthday. I lied to Ahmed about the day she get born so he can't ask for recognition and homeland protest. Zelie seemed too small to enjoy a trip in Egypt. With Ahmed we broke the relationship while I was pregnant for 8 months. The pressure of his muslim egyptian family was unsustainable. Intercultural crash, fears and threat. It is done.

  • Maria my neighbor. He was born on this same floor on February 13, 1944. Zelie grows in front of her house. Every morning Zelie has a habit of stinging Maria at the door and shouting her name. If Maria doesn't answer on time, Zelie makes a whim.

  • Tips of Maria for Zelie from her proper experience with Xavi, her son. Reflexion of loneliness.
    1. That you study hard
    2. That you live with your family

  • Family photo archive.metaphor for the disappearance of Maria's husband and a woman who turns to her son. "We were always the 3 together. But the "Tichou" on February 12, 2014 wanted to take another road forever leaving me and my son behind as he used to do. This story is over."

  • Family Archive. Maria's husband sent him this letter since the army in 1963

  • Maria's morning routine. Coffee & loneliness

  • Photo of son of Maria, Family archive. An envelope that contains a secret. Maria confesses to her son that she married pregnant. It was not love. At first. "Thank you". It translates the weight of tradition, of prejudices in the family nucleus.

  • Archive photos. (left) identity photo of Maria and her son. (right) I present 5 nature photos i made to maria. She choose the cactus to reflect her relationship with her son who lives 3 streets of us but never comes to visit her. "Xavi always goes to his ball but calls me every day at 9 night. I think it's a matter of character.

  • Fusion of zelie and maria being only one

  • Portrait of Maria in her house from the window of my room. Life in promiscuity. Maria's letter to Zelie. You are my life, I love you from my heart.

  • Zelie and her doll. The idea of ​​motherhood and its role at the societal level has been instilled since childhood

  • Kiss from Zelie to Maria reminiscent of the Sleeping Beauty.

    15. Teleassistance pendant for the elderly living alone. (Maria anecdote: I was bitten 4 times to know if I needed anything. I told them that I didn't need it anymore. It was Zelie's fault (who touched the alarm button when playing) Zelie works as an interrupter about Maria allowing her a new respite.)

  • "The apple of my eyes"

  • Maria and Zelie, in Maria's bathroom, fit in like a painting that allows me to highlight my own repercussions and my own family framework.

  • Zelie, in the intimacy of Maria bedroom.

  • (Right, selfie on the terrace our building _ Left, Maria selfie on the terrace our building 1965) "Maria, look around you, everything changes and I'm here to ask you the same question. "Am I a good mother? or not. And then there are others around us, those who always have a word to say, always for our good. "I do as I can," I almost force myself to tell them. But in the end, Maria, I do what I want. Just, they do not know it."

  • Self Portrait with Zelie. Motherhood has allowed me to name and solve family problems that I experience.