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Poetic Truths of Home and Motherhood

A Visual Movement "Eye Mama"


Eye Mama is a ground-breaking global photography project giving voice to diverse artists and mothers that started during an unprecedented time. Founded in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, by photographer Karni Arieli, it invites anyone who identifies as a mother and photographer to document their intimate experiences of modern motherhood.



Eye Mama

 

Karni Arieli is a BAFTA-nominated British-Israeli filmmaker and photographer with a diverse body of mixed media work across commercial, editorial and film - including music videos and collaborations as part of directing duo, Karni and Saul. A graduate of the prestigious Bezalel Art Academy with a focus on art and photography, Karni channels her creative lens as both an artist and a mother. The Bristol-based working mom of two boys founded the ground-breaking Eye Mama Project after recognizing a gap in the cultural narrative surrounding modern motherhood while in quarantine.

 

 

“When the UK went into lockdown, I reached for my camera which immediately empowered me as I was documenting my family amidst so much uncertainty,” says Karni. “As a storyteller, it became a crutch and healing tool to take control and share our narrative.”

 


eye mama

What began as a creative outlet for Karni has blossomed into a one-of-a-kind virtual tapestry of womanhood—capturing the raw emotions of birth, nurturing, grieving loss and more through an inclusive “mama gaze” lens seldom given space.

 

With over 60,000 uncensored submissions from 60+ countries, Eye Mama spotlights underrepresented stories, drives cultural change and serves as a historic time capsule chronicling recent events through marginalised voices shaping the next generation. The collection serves as an empowering self-portrait of motherhood’s past, present and future.

 

The endearing, universal nickname “MAMA” is embraced as a term to empower all who nurture and care for children's growth. Beyond biological mothers, the Eye Mama Project community includes a spectrum of mother figures – adopted and foster mothers, grandmothers, non-binary parents and more. It gives equal voice to enrich “mama” narratives often unseen: those who are struggling to conceive, experiences of miscarriage, abortion and infant loss, as well as blended families, same-sex couples, chosen families and women supporting each other through the complex emotional terrain of today’s redefined parenthood journey in all its forms.

 

“The topic of motherhood is a sensitive one. Therefore ‘mama’ is used as a term of endearment, it’s a loose term of and for motherhood, and therefore you could be a stepmum, you could be she or a they, you could be in a single sex couple, someone who feels like a mama and is living with children, a grandma, someone who’s suffered a miscarriage. The story really matters, so we wanted to keep this wide open so that it could really be as broad and inclusive as possible,” says Karni.    

 


Eye Mama

By spotlighting these courageous stories seldom given center stage, the mission is to stretch public awareness and drive cultural change towards inclusive understanding.

 

“Parenting is often overlooked in modern society and seems uninteresting or boring, but during the pandemic this changed, and I think this body of work will prove that there is a lot of incredible storytelling going on behind the doors and a lot of amazing, emotional, inspiring, beautiful, heart-breaking moments,” Karni says.  


Eye Mama

 

Since inception in 2020, the project has been featured globally - from National Geographic and Vogue Italia to Stern and the British Journal of Photography.

Marking a historic milestone, the newly published "Eyemama Book!" by prestigious house teNeues, last year, features 228 stirring images that capture the full spectrum of modern motherhood. Selected from the tens of thousands of submissions to the @eyemamaproject Instagram community, these intimate photographs spotlight diverse standpoints often overlooked in society and art. As Arieli notes, "The collection seeks to make the invisible visible" - uplifting the raw emotional terrain familiar to so many yet rarely given space outside private realms. Uncensored stories range the profound joy, beauty, solidarity, adversity and loss navigated along the winding path of contemporary parenthood and caretaking. At once a photo diary of recent events and a love letter to the women shaping futures, this powerful book gives visual voice to global common ground and serves as an empowering self-portrait of the mama gaze - one that makes visibility and inclusion foundational to redefining womanhood’s narrative moving forward. Part photojournalism, part her-story - this moving compilation of images and essays spotlights the voices, faces and standpoints of mothers shaping society in unprecedented times.

 

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