AMS x PES | Maternal Journal #2

Tsedaye Makonnen You Have No Idea Who You Are Messing With series, Martha’s Vineyard collaboration with Ayana Evans.
Tsedaye Makonnen You Have No Idea Who You Are Messing With series, Martha’s Vineyard collaboration with Ayana Evans.

AMS x PES | Maternal Journal #2


Maternal Journal #2, 2019
110 page, riso print art book
Editors: Amy Huges Braden and Leslie Holt
Produced by Project for Empty Space

The Artist Mother Studio (Washington DC), in partnership with Project for Empty Space is pleased to release the second iteration of Maternal Journal. This edition was inspired by the words of bell hooks from Feminism is For Everybody: "In future feminist movement we need to work harder to show parents the ways ending sexism positively changes family life. Feminist movement is pro-family. Ending patriarchal domination of children, by men or women, is the only way to make the family a place where children can be safe, where they can be free, where they can know love."

Contributors include: Victoria Bailey, Celeste A. Bateman, Sheila Black and Eliza Hayse, Lori Anne Boocks, Sophie Buckner, Marina Carreira, Christen Clifford, Mya Cluff, Ellen Cornett, M.A. Dennis, Nene A. Diallo, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Maria Eife, Nadia Liz Estela, Maternal Fantasies, Iris Alin Green, Steve Fitzpatrick, Hannah Gaudite, Kimberley Gertig, Aimee Gilmore, Michelle Hartney, Megan Hildebrandt, Sarah Irvin, Michi Jigarjian, Donna Conklin King, Candice Kwan, Vaughan Larsen, Ariel Lavery, Meg Leahy, Gera Lozano, Tsedaye Makonnen,MANDEM, Lex Marie, China Martens, Deborah Mashibini-Prior, Jessica Mueller, na na, Anna Ogier-Bloomer, Sheri Park, Lara Payne, Tori Pelz, Kathy Putnam, Trixi Rosa, Hannah Baker Saltmarsh, Daniell Savoy, Judy Southerland, Anonymous, Liane Tyrrel, Alana Tyson, Maya Varadaraj, Camila Ussa Villamil,Jasmine Waiters,Sophia Wallace, Jess Weible, Ellyn Weiss, Emilia White and Sara J. Winston .

An excerpt from the editor's note:
Amy Hughes Braden, Children’s Noise is the Sound of our Movement Growing

Phrase attributed to activist Jason Lydon, as written about by writer, photographer, and parent, Victoria Law in “7 Ways to Revolutionize Childcare and Build All Ages Movements” (

Everyone is responsible for the future generation, those without children included. The Future Generation is the brilliant title of a long running zine by China Martens. I love the title because it encapsulates why everyone should give a shit about the well-being of children and therefore their parents. The world will be passed to them. They are the future and shouldn’t we all be invested in the future?

Investing in the future can look like taking care of dinner for a friend with kids once a week. It can mean offering practical allowances like deadline extensions or childcare stipends on projects. It can mean appraising our meeting places, events, and programs, considering ways to make them (more) child-friendly. Caregivers miss out on so much because their kids aren’t welcome. And we miss out on their contributions. The challenges parents face foster unique and valuable perspectives.

The relentless mental, physical, and financial weight of raising children has a tremendous impact on their caregivers. We are not our best under duress. We cannot raise healthy families if we don’t have access to good, clean food. We cannot provide for children without reasonable, fair wages, and if childcare is inaccessible because of cost or availability. If “regular jobs” are not feasible or practical for regular families, what the fuck are we doing? If our community’s caregivers are isolated, receive no community support, and denied access due to having dependents, how can they have the fortitude to push back against the status quo?

We offer this collection as a way to push back, using words and imagery. We are proud to showcase artists, writers, activists that are pushing back in their own lives in major ways. Support them. Support children, tantrums and all. Support families. Support the future.

About AMS:
Artist Mother Studio (AMS) has existed in several forms since our inception in 2018. First and foremost we are an itinerant, childcare supported, studio residency for artists with children. Our first cohort worked out of a DIY community arts space called Rhizome in DC, and the second cohort took up residence at Washington Project for the Arts in both their office and exhibition space. AMS has also taken the shape of a conference at Howard University, and an ongoing zine titled Maternal Journal. We seek to shift the conversation around motherhood through a wide variety of projects and actions. We hope to elevate the voices of artist caregivers, amplify the benefits of communal labor, and leverage the unique perspectives of caregivers for positive societal change. We publish the zine as one way to discuss the overlapping issues of caregiving, gender, and oppression. AMS is a fluid project that will grow and change to best serve our mission. We are artist-run and seek to collaborate, partner, and include more people in our work.

Image: Tsedaye Makonnen You Have No Idea Who You Are Messing With series, Martha’s Vineyard collaboration with Ayana Evans.

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