Artist's Statement

Lori Hawkins

Too Far to Walk is a maternal mortality story. It’s a story of the women of West Pokot and their struggle to stay alive, to survive childbirth, a right all women should have. On average, one woman or girl dies due to complications from childbirth every two minutes. 75% of these deaths could be prevented with access to low-cost basic sexual and reproductive healthcare.

The women of West Potok in Kenya suffer disproportionately from poor access to health services, discrimination, and at times, victimization by harmful traditions. Many of them are affected by Female Genital Cutting (FGC), early marriage and early motherhood. Each of these practices can result in a variety of harmful complications to both babies and mothers. Kenya is considered the most dangerous place in the world to be pregnant.

In West Pokot, women have to walk miles to reach any type of maternal health care, then when they arrive and they find there’s no electricity, no doctor, no midwife, no nurse. More than 360,000 women die in childbirth every year and 98% of those deaths are preventable.

In this day and age with the #metoo movement reshaping the modern conversation around gender and fairness, the women of West Pokot need their story told.

My work aims to find the middle ground between news and documentary; where the viewer will be both informed and challenged into action.