Milieu: Women of the East

 
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Reflecting on the experiences and presentations of widowhood across Imo State, Nigeria.


 


photography & words Adaeze Ihebom


 

 

WHAT DO WE UNDERSTAND OF WIDOWHOOD TODAY?

This is an ongoing portrait series that documents the women of Nnorie, a small village located near Owerri Imo State, in the Eastern part of Nigeria. In the weeks that I was there, I would normally visit these Women and they were so open and willing to share their experiences of widowhood; particularly how they are dealing with life after the death of their husbands. Every single woman I documented possessed their own unique story to share. Despite their struggles, I noticed that all the Women I have documented so far had something in common and that is the love for their children. These Women are absolutely extraordinary and strong, and sometimes we underestimate their power. After the trip, staying with these women and listening to their stories, made me think a lot about life. So I chose to make them heroes rather than victims, I wanted to highlight their strengths.

Irene got married at the age of 12, lost her husband at a very young age. Left alone to take care of her 7 children without any help from her in-laws or the government. Forced to marry her daughters at a very young age, because she couldn’t take care of them.

Irene got married at the age of 12, lost her husband at a very young age. Left alone to take care of her 7 children without any help from her in-laws or the government. Forced to marry her daughters at a very young age, because she couldn’t take care of them.

 
Mother and daughter.

Mother and daughter.

 
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Emmanuel’s adoptive Mum. The woman who promised her friend to take care of her only son, despite the fact that her husband was late.

Emmanuel’s adoptive Mum. The woman who promised her friend to take care of her only son, despite the fact that her husband was late.

 

 

Adaeze Ihebom is a Nigerian-Italian artist based in London. See more of her work at www.adaezeihebom.format.com