Raphaela Rosella

AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Nimbin - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Gold Coast - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Gold Coast - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Gold Coast - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Gold Coast - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Gold Coast - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Gold Coast - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Gold Coast - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Gold Coast - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Gold Coast - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos
AUSTRALIA . Gold Coast - 2011 - Raphaela Rosella / Obscura Photos

"When my twin sister told me she was pregnant, I was angry. I called her a slut and told her to get an abortion. I thought she could have a better life, but what is a better life? She was going to be a mum and always was going to be a mum. She'€™s been depressed since she had Mikah. I always thought it was post-natal depression but it never went away. Things haven'€™t gotten better since he left, but I saw her smile for the first time the other day."

Mimi doesn'€™t leave the house much because she feels she is being judged as mother. She spends a lot of her time playing on Facebook.

"I've never told anyone but I miss him. Why did I have to do this? Mikah says, "I miss dad, I wish dad would come back." Why do I have to realise this when I have lost him. I was a selfish bitch. I'm the one that drove him away."

A scan of Mimi's anti-depression pills. Mimi suffers from depression and started taking anti-depressant pills after Mikah'€™s father left.

"I don't show nobody. It's all scarred up and ugly."

Mimi's stretch marks, three years after giving birth.

Being a single mother means Mimi has to shower with her son because she doesn't have anyone to watch him when she showers.

"He's full on. The pediatrician reckons he has challenging behaviour."

A description of Mikah's behaviour written by his day care on post it note.

Mimi drys herself after a shower.

Mikah screams for his mum at the bathroom door.

Mimi and Mikah watch TV.

"He hasn't seen Mikah in months. Mikah cries for him at night. Sometimes I wish he didn't remember him because it breaks my heart."

Mimi and Mikah lay on the couch. Mikah'€™s father left Mimi and had a baby with another girl. He rarely visits or calls Mikah.

Mikah standing infront of the TV while Mimi sits infront of the heater.

"She was 16 when she fell pregnant, one of the first of us. She'€™s now 24, a mother of five, but the loss of one of her boys hurt me the most. I could never relate to her pain, I never had a chance to meet him. He was 11 days old. You can tell she still misses Lachlan, I often wonder if she still cries when we'€™re all gone."

Gillianne hold the cross and flowers from her sons gravesite after visiting his grave for the one year anniversary of his death. Lachlan (one of her twin boys) passed away at 11 days old from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

"...my friend drunk and smoked through her pregnancy. I did nothing and lost my baby. I feel so ripped off."
An ultrasound of Gillianne'€™s twin boys Solomon and Lachlan.

Gillianne has her children's names tattooed on her back. Djamahl, Cienna, Solomon and Lachlan. Lachlan's name has angel wings beside it.

Gillianne sits in the backseat of a car with her son Djamahl, daughter Cienna and her nephew Mikah.

"Its still smells like him".

Over a year after Lachlan's death, the evidence is returned. A scan of the jumper Lachlan passed away in. The autopsy confirmed he passed away from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) at 11 days old.

"...I try and be the best mum as I can. My mum was a full blown coke and heroin addict. I try to give my kids what she didn't give me. I don't like comparing myself to her because I feel like I'm putting her down but I do what's best for my kids."

Gillianne's daughter plays on the PlayStation.

Solomon sits in the shower.

Djamahl cries in the backseat of the car.

Gillianne's partner Jesse sits in the hospital waiting room at Lismore Based Hospital as they prepare Gillianne for a cesarean.

"The doctors reckon I'm too young but I got my tubes tied. Fives enough for me."

A scan of Gillianne's hospital band. At 24 years old, Gillianne gave birth to her fifth child, a baby girl, Bella-Rose. Gillianne's tubes were tied during the cesarean.

(Tammara) She was nobody. I realized I was the only one in the room who knew her the longest. A birth should be celebrated. I'€™ve known Tammara since primary school. She was in the year above me, her sister the year below me. I didn'€™t see Tammara much when I was in high school, she left early and had her first baby soon after. (Introduction by Raphaela Rosella).

Tammara 29 weeks pregnant with her third child.

"The very first day after the court case they turned around and went to give her to me. I was sick, couldn't move, head cold, fucked up. I said, "Look I can't have her this weekend", I grabbed her anyways. An hour later I rang them up and said, "I can't really do this, can you please come and grab her? They said, "Nah that's it, you don't ever get to see her again." I haven't seen her since. I actually gave up, I've never given up that easy in my life and on my daughter I did."

Tammara 29 weeks pregnant with her third child. On her arm is a home job tattoo of her daughters name 'Jessika' who she hasn'€™t seen in over 3 years.

I asked Tammara if she got to speak to her son for his third birthday. She said "I choose not to call him, D.O.C.S. (Department of Child Services) has made it too hard. They don't let me call Jessika either. Its time to ignore the other two and start new with this kid. Hopefully one day they will want to know their mother."

Tammara, 34 weeks pregnant sits at her friend'€™s house where she is staying while she tries to find a house and smokes a cigarette.

May 16, 2011 3:16am. The morning of Tammara'€™s scheduled cesarean.

Southport Hospital waiting room. The morning of Tammara'€™s cesarean.

"We're not here for you, we're for Steven and the baby." (Tammara'€™s mother in law).
Tammara breast-feeds her daughter Tamika not long after getting out of recovery.

"I wish he knew how to treat me the way he writes. I hope he is learning from his time (in prison)."

A letter from Steven to Tammara. Not long after Tammara had Tamika, Steven was sent to prison for 2 months.

During the time Steven was in prison, Tammara stayed at his mother'€™s house. Tamika is put on the table by her grandmother so the dogs don'€™t lick her.

Tammara sets up a swing for Tamika in their new house. They haven't had a house for 10 months.

WE MET A LITTLE EARLY, BUT I GET TO LOVE YOU LONGER

Is it correct to assume that all young mothers are doing a bad job?

Throughout Australia young mothers are presented as a type: low social economic backgrounds, poorly educated, lazy and without ambition.

Even though Australia’s fertility rate among teenagers is low (17 births per 1000 women) in comparison to the USA (51 per 1000 women), and Britain (27 per 1000 women) (The Sydney Morning Herald, 2010), the rate of teenage pregnancy in rural or disadvantage areas is up to 50 per cent higher than it is in Australian cities (ABC, 2006). Furthermore the fertility rate for Indigenous teenagers in Australia is over four times the rate of all Australian teenage women, with 78 births per 1,000 women (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009).

With teenage pregnancy normal in my hometown, each story is close or personal to me in some way. ‘We met a little early, but I get to love you longer’ is a collaboration with young mothers from Indigenous and/or disadvantaged backgrounds from my neighbourhood or local area. By investigating and individualising the complex range of issues that lead teen girls to early pregnancy and the challenges they face, the collaborations seek to show that each mother is different, and there is no ‘uniform’ type. By listening and telling the stories of others, we come to understand that there are no stereotypes and we stand as individuals.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

RAPHAELA ROSELLA is currently picture editor of The Australian PhotoJournalist, a not for profit publication dedicated to giving voice to the voiceless and casting a critical eye on journalism and mass media practices. Raphaela also works closely with organizations  Slippry Sirkus, and Beyond Empathy on art based projects, across communities facing recurring hardship, in a hope to use photography to influence change.

In 2011 Raphaela was awarded ACMP Student Documentary Photographer of the Year, The Godfrey Rivers Medal and The Fuji Film Photographic Award, a scholarship that recognises a significant body of work documenting aspects of the human condition.

Raphaela holds a bachelor of Photography majoring in Photojournalism from Queensland College of the Arts, Brisbane, Australia.  Her work has been exhibited in New York, the UK and throughout Australia. Raphaela is currently represented by ET AL. Photo Collective and Obscura Photos.

View more of Raphaela’s work here.

 

 

 

© timemachine (2013) - All works (images and text) on this website are protected by copyright and have been reproduced with the artist’s permission.

Perfect for a call to action or a special offer.