We Are Tribe
‘We Are Tribe’ was a small project done exclusively online with members of the Gateway Women community to honour the 6th birthday of the organisations founding.
Gateway Women is a global friendship and support network for childless (not childfree) women founded in 2011 by Jody Day. Being childless through circumstance, rather than choice, in a world that is so focused on having children is a difficult and painful journey. In the UK 1 in 5 women over the age of 45 have faced this journey and along the way many women find they lose their friendship groups. As friends, family members and co-workers move on with life, in terms of having a family, the subjects of children and pregnancy so frequently become the main focus of conversation and those who are struggling with the grief of childlessness are often ignored, misunderstood and either pushed aside or choose to lessen their involvement because it is too painful.
I know from personal experience the sheer joy that comes from meeting other women from the Gateway Women community and knowing instantly, that they get you. Their journey may have been different to yours, as being childless through circumstance happens for so many different reasons, but even before the conversation starts there is a look, an energy, which tells you they understand from a very deep level and the bonds are often instant.
As a ‘tribe’ we are spread all across the globe, being childless through circumstance happens in all countries, all communities. Choosing to work in a digital medium allowed me to be inclusive of all those wanting to take part. The idea of a patchwork quilt appealed to me as traditionally this is something that a group of women would sit and do together whilst chatting and enjoying each other’s company. I hope in the future to secure funding for a larger project, where we can make an actual patchwork quilt.
The term ‘We Are Tribe’ came about through Jody’s words during her TED talk ‘The Lost Tribe of Childless Women’ at TEDx Hull in 2017. If you would like to listen to this talk please follow this link.