Maternal Environments


Breed, A. 2017. Maternal Environments. Performance Research. 27 (4), pp. 105-112.
AuthorsBreed, A.

This article explores the creation of ‘maternal environments’ in my work alongside my infants in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia as a practice conducive to socially engaged performance towards peacemaking. Sara Ruddick defines peacemaking as ‘a way of living in which it is possible to learn and to practice nonviolent resistance and strategies of reconciliation. This description of peacemaking is a description of mothering’ (Ruddick 1990: 244). I use the term maternal environments to conceptualise the kind of human relationships and social systems that are forged through mothering as a ‘socially constructed set of activities and relationships involved in nurturing and caring for people’ (Forcey, 1994: 357). My own experiences of mothering while working as a lead consultant and applied performance facilitator with my infants and partner, James Forrester, for the Youth Theatre for Peace (YTP) project in Kyrgyzstan for the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) in addition to training workshops for the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Foundation Tolerance International (FTI) between 2010 and 2016 are used as case studies to explore maternal environments. This article will process these deeply personal accounts of working alongside my infants to advocate for positive role-balance, institutional structural support, health-promoting lifestyles and family-friendly policies and programmes.

JournalPerformance Research
Journal citation27 (4), pp. 105-112
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
Online07 Nov 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Aug 2017
Accepted30 Aug 2017
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Performance Research on 07/11/2017 available online:
LicenseAll rights reserved (under embargo)
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