A video clip in which Janet speaks on different cultural ideas of the body and how they originated. The European beginnings of biomedicine and the energy mappings of traditional Eastern healing techniques. Indian sub continental analogies between the female body and the earth body.
In this video clip Janet expresses the importance of learning the cultural contexts of the handling of birth—from Africa, Latin America, Asia etc. Women’s choice is not the only issue—but how and from whom does she receive information and support.
This film by Sameera Jain made in 2000 observes indigenous birth practices and practitioners in urban and rural North India.
Poised between social reality and the eternal mystery of childbearing, the film presents an intricate delineation of the figure of the dai (midwife) who is almost always a low-caste, poor woman. The dais' methods are holistic, conceiving of childbirth not as pathology but continuation of organic life.
Dais at that time handled about 50% of the births in India. Her inherited skills, though accessible and low-cost, are continually devalued by the mainstream. The film poses a critical question -- why does the state not recognise the almost one million traditional practitioners in the country?
Producer Sublunar Films and Matrika
In this interview Janet speaks on her researching dais and traditional midwifery and how she came to be so involved with this work.
A plea for inclusion of dais in midwifery cadre advocacy taken from Human Rights in Childbirth Conference.