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Dijkstra decided to make these portraits after witnessing the birth of a friend’s baby. She photographed three women, one hour (Julie), one day (Tecla) and one week (Saskia) after giving birth. The raw immediacy of these images captures something of the contradictions inherent in this common and yet most singular of human experiences. The women appear at once vulnerable and invincible, traumatised and self-composed.

May 2010