ph Lara Manara_ Fort St Elmo_ Malta

Sara Leghissa in collaboration with Simon(e) van Saarloos, text Simon(e) van Saarloos, graphic design Marzia Dalfini, executive production Federica Iannuzzi, coproduction L’Altra Associazione, maltabiennale.art 2024

With Unborn Celebration, Sara Leghissa rearranges the poem I Want an Abortion Every Day by Simon(e) van Saarloos into the form of a public manifesto. The aim is to centralise the desire for life, both born and unborn, celebrating lives that do not have to be produced, and to emphasise the protection of human rights where self-determination enters the terrain of illegality. The poem, inspired by Zoe Leonard’s I Want a President, stems from the artists’ battle with the limitation of women and queer people’s access to reproductive care. Instead of calling for a mere legalisation, the artists want more – more life unborn, more potential unfurled, imagining ‘more abundance, a future potential’. UNBORN CELEBRATION imagines abortion as an everyday political practice for all.  

This is a radical imagination, a dream beyond legalization, written also for and from places where abortion is allowed. A little bit, somewhat, a little bit legal, somewhat accessible. Still, we want more. Imagine abundance, a future potential.I want an abortion every day. I am gay. I never even touch cis men (but they touch me all the time). I won’t make life for the state. I want a president who had an abortion at fifteen. I want an abortion every day. I don’t want conscious slow decision making or nagging guilt. I don’t want to imagine a child ten years later, I want to celebrate a life not existing, a potential not pressed into societal oppression. Even without a foetus pending in my non-binary womb-gut, I want an abortion every day. I want to get vacuumed unapologetically, I want to celebrate all the many people (so many of them women) who went before and got it done. I want to say congratulations, not “are you ok?” I want an abortion every day.

PRESS/ Artist claims her pro-choice work at Malta Biennale was censored_ Emma Borg per Times Malta_ 06/04/24