My research “Walking together through imaginal lines: a visual narrative scouting of single motherhood’s horizon of possibilities” began as an identity quest, dealing with my lived experience as an Ecuadorian single mother (with all that this implies). I understand motherhood as a fluid dialectical process; a relational way of becoming that in different forms defines me, and not only me. I don’t see motherhood as a state inaugurated by a single event (e.g. giving birth), but a “significant practice” (Stuart Hall) shaped by –and shaping, at the same time– everyday life (Michel De Certeau). A relational process deeply grounded in the politics of the family. For me, any representation of motherhood is nothing but a snapshot in this long process of becoming. Having adopted an auto-ethnographic research methodology, my life, my daughter’s life and my research are intertwined. In my PhD project I intend to “Give an account of oneself” (Judit Butler), assuming Ecuador as my locus of enunciation, to contest discriminatory ideas about single motherhood. But if I understand motherhood as a dialogic process of becoming, then any account of my personal experience as a single mother is actually my own version of two stories,with all the ethical, social, personal and political implications of such attempt.
Maria Teresa Galarza is an Ecuadorian mother-artist and researcher. She has undergraduate degrees in film (USFQ), education (UTPL), and public and social sciences (UCE). Additionally, she holds a Juris Doctor degree (UCE) and a Masters in Cultural Studies, awarded to her by the University of the Andean Community of Nations (UASB), where Maria Teresa also completed the 2 years coursework component of a 5 years PhD program in Latin American Literature. In 2009, in Ecuador, she won a National Research Prize for a project that analyzed cinematographic representations of Ecuadorian (e)migration. After this, Maria Teresa began to work for the National Film Institute (CNCINE); later, she became an advisor of the Ecuadorian Minister of Culture and Heritage and she was entrusted the curriculum design of the B.A. in film program, for the recently created Ecuadorian University of Arts. Before moving to Australia, Maria Teresa was a consultant in higher education in arts’ projects for both, the Ecuadorian Secretary of Higher Education and the Ecuadorian Ministry of Culture and Heritage. Currently, she is a PhD candidate at the Victorian College of the Arts-University of Melbourne. Her artistic practice as research project is an auto-ethnographic exploration of single motherhood’s horizon of possibilities. Maria Teresa lives with her amazing daughter in Melbourne.