edite haberman – it’s a girl

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Edite Haberman

It’s a Girl

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The visual story of a childless woman.

“It’s a Girl” started as a simple exercise and transformed itself into a potent self exploration through visual expressions of longing and loss. It is a conceptual story of childhood, motherhood, and the absence of children – a tragedy of the thwarted wish for children and the loss that this can signify.

There’s no lesson, there’s no cry; just an attempt for the need to express what no medium can, what no words or time could ever color, what no dreams or images could ever realize.

The indoor images were shot between bed sheets and bedspreads much like children in bed. The outdoor images were shot either on strollers or children’s playgrounds. Vintage doll heads sit on swings and slides that are not fully revealed – swinging, sliding, falling and playing as if they were children.

Being childless is a condition that society does not understand, nor has been able so far to accept. Being childless when one does not want to be, is an emptiness that cannot be explained. I am attempting to explain it through my images.



After studying architecture in Buenos Aires, Edite immigrated to the US where she received a degree in graphic design. She went to work for international advertising agencies in Los Angeles and San Francisco as an art director. Later she studied and graduated in film and directed and produced short as well as video and TV campaigns. After purchasing a DSLR camera a few years ago for an European trip, she went to study with some of the world’s finest photographers. “Photography for me is the culmination of all my experiences in architecture, design, film and art direction. It all comes together and this is where my passion is”.

Edite has been exhibiting her fine art and documentary photography in galleries and juried shows in the US and in Europe. Her project “It’s a Girl” won a honorable mention in 2011 from the International Photography Awards and an official selection from IPA in 2009. It also won a spotlight award from Color Magazine in 2011 and it’s been featured at OpenShow in 2012. Images from “It’s a Girl” have been exhibited in different galleries in California as well as in Europe. She has been the recipient of multiple awards for her other projects in documentary photography.

Edite is currently working on a book of “It’s a Girl” and has started the second part of this project – a documentary project that will follow this conceptual work. Her vision is to bring awareness at a national and international level about the stigma of involuntary childlessness. Her mission: to interview and portray women from different parts of the world who have experienced similar heartbreak with infertility and are living with it. She will document their stories and experiences – and through her images, Edite expects to put a face on a condition that still remains largely hidden and shameful.

Edite also works as a portrait and lifestyle photographer for private, editorial and corporate clients.


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Edite Haberman


97 Responses to “edite haberman – it’s a girl”

  • This is just crap. Come on, blown out photos of dolls heads? Really? Good grief. This is silly.

  • Uhmm, hard to understand this kind of photography… and with only three pictures the essay is “done”. Too much repeated images in 03.20minutes. You need to find some others points of view…

    Edite, Feliz año nuevo judío! Abrazo porteño.

  • Jim Powers, you obviously are not the audience this was intended for. If you bothered to read the text, perhaps you would be more respectful. I am sure you would not like to see that fist comment on your BURN. And they are not blown out by the way, nothing is.

    Gracias Patricio

  • Oh, come on, edite. It’s self absorbed angst filled navel gazing. A paean to the Instagram generation. Three minutes of overly processed disembodied dolls heads. Geeze.

  • Edite, I commend you.

    I feel the personal pain in the piece and I am moved by the highly personal nature of your project. Sharing any inner grief with the world must be a bold and difficult endeavour. I have been emotionally supporting my sister as she faces the same challenges and forced acceptances, so as much as any man is able, I relate to the significant turmoil associated with this issue. I am not aware of many artists addressing this matter, and I believe it should be more widely discussed. With ample room for diversified content, I look forward to seeing more of the project as it develops.


  • Burn is not proper place for this kind of photography.

  • Unfortunately,I must also not be the target audience because I don’t get how
    a few images of vintage doll heads strung together with a melancholic sound track
    constitutes a project.
    But that’s just me.

  • Burn is exactly the right place for this and any other kind of photography. Some of these reactions show the difficulty of accepting the issue, as well as an inability to understand the author’s sublimation and sharing that painful process through somewhat alienated (and perhaps also intentionally alienating) images of child substitutes (dolls). Not every photograph documents through camera-processed jpegs.

    I admire the courage of Edite to share this with the world, and to translate the alienation into art that elicits the expected reactions.

  • P.S. I count approximately 21 images, progressing from harsh to soft contrast, and NO repetition. Can we agree on that, at least?!

  • As John Szarkowski explained, referring to his “MIRRORS AND WINDOWS” exhibition and book at MoMA, “…personal visions take one of two forms. In metaphorical terms, the photograph is seen as either a ‘mirror’ — a romantic expression of the photographer’s sensibility as it projects itself on the things and sights of this world; or as a ‘window’ — through which the exterior world is explored in all its presence and reality.” Or looked at more simply – some photographers look out (window) on the world while others look back at themselves (mirror). That burn would choose to publish such a personal essay of photographs by Edite Haberman is to be cheered. Although not all will cheer the pictures they tell a very personal story about Edite. She is looking very closely in the mirror.

  • Sadly for me, I have an extremely slow wireless connection here on Barter Island today. I have been trying to download this for almost an hour now and the progress bar has barely budged. Yet, I know Edite and her sense of artistry well enough that even without seeing her essay, I feel confident the message she wishes to convey is there in her photos. It may not be visible to all, but I am certain it is there. I look forward to viewing the essay when I get a better connection.

  • Nice one David…..You put this on here and then disappear on your Road Trip. I do admire your style !

  • Congrats Edite
    Im glad to see your project finally here at Burn and happier that you found such a suttle, emotional and beautifully simple formula to throw spotlight in a issue rarely commented. And by doing this , in such underlying subjective way, there’s this generous space defying states of perception on what this is all about and what you intended to reach
    As a woman, Im also really proud for your braveness leaving your comfort zone to share ‘something'(emptiness, pain, reconciliation) that relates to you in a deep personal way. Thanks for your testimony, for bringing it to the table, calling attention and opening it for more discursion

  • Congratulations Edite

    You’re a brave person to tackle this. This sort of highly personal artwork seldom resonates with anyone but the maker. I feel that at least on some level you have managed that here. The theme, and dolls in general, clearly will resonate more with other women. Decapitated dolls, some with their eyes gouged out, could be very creepy. Somehow this manages to avoid it.

    Overall, I like what you are trying to do here, although I found the first images with the high contrast and over-saturation became repetitive very quickly. The last few images works better for me. I must admit that I feel this whole essay could be distilled down to the second last photograph, which I find very moving.

    thanks for this

  • A very strong story. I like they way you approached the topic.
    Not sure, however am I regarding the head without eyes. Is that a born-dead child?

    Congratulations for being published – this is what makes burn unique.
    Thanks DAH and Team to have this published.

  • “burn is born from an educational imperative and to bring strong photographic essays and powerful text to not only photographers, but to anyone fascinated by a visual and literary interpretation of our complex planet. Your interpretations may be either journalistic in nature or esoteric subjective pieces. I hold all artists in high regard. With me as editor/curator you need never think “what does he want or like?” I will push you to do your thing, not mine…”

    This was copied straight from the Burn Magazine About section. Apparently the essay is perfectly suited for Burn and I for one hope there is more of this kind of work in the future. It’s a good day when one has to think and put themselves in the shoes of the artist to understand where they’re coming from and what they are trying to say. There is an infinite amount of stories out there and just as may ways to express them.

    Well done Edite. I look forward to seeing the second half of the project.


  • good discussion….diversified comments ..great..keep it going….

  • im with Gerhard and Morgan on this one;)
    love you all….

    Keep it up Edite!!!!!!!! see u in Venice Beach?

  • Panos, ditto, this is what burn is about.

    Edite, I’ve been viewing your photos over and over, I’ve been thinking about them, a sign that you have made an impact.

  • Edite!!! I can’t say it better than these comments here.
    I cheer loudly with your fans here. And agree with this being a great venue to show.

    It is original and monumental. I think we are all digging for that truth inside that is real and one of a kind. I think you have achieved it.
    …and find myself on the verge of this decision in my life as well. It is very moving for me to see this.
    I love you- big hug xoxox

    I would also like to say that it is a very moving start to a road trip about family. (assuming David will find a way to make it start- it seems he will always find a way) To begin this adventure with an essay about the poignant absence of family I think will make us all appreciate it more. I feel now, having seen this essay, more grounded in the true purpose of the upcoming trip.

  • Involuntary nulliparity is an immensely complex topic. Few issues have such stigma attached to it, especially in a culture obsessed with fertility as the externalized, visible manifestation of self-worth, identity, femininity and “value” to society. Few talk openly about the loss and isolation, much less make it the subject of an artistic endeavor. Few struggles are so deeply internal, yet are out in the open for all to see.

    Edite, I commend and respect you for taking this on in a manner that is not only deeply personal, but in a way that invites the kind of discourse reflected in this thread. As one that is also seeking to resolve “that which I wanted but never had” through art, this essay moved me deeply and I know you’re on the right path for the next phase of your project. Hats off to you!

    Where else but Burn for this work to be seen and discussed.

  • It’s so nice to see this work on burn today. Knowing Edite’s story and process I feel its a strong presentation of very complex and interesting work, that comes out of a very real and personal dimension. If you’re looking at these photos from an expectation of seeing something that fits your criteria for “what should be seen here” I don’t think you can find that with this essay, but you are also not taking a very sophisticated view of things.

    I also don’t agree with the criticism that because each photo contains doll heads that there is something wrong or nefarious. Just because a photo series contains a common thread, the ways a talented photographer like Edite can expand upon and manipulate her technique within a certain framework can be very moving. There are plenty of portrait series that can seem similar when looking at them one after a time, however that looks past the care paid to the individual image as well as effect when watching the set together as a whole, set to music, etc.

    Edite I was very glad to wake up to see this today – I look forward to seeing more!

  • “but you are also not taking a very sophisticated view of things.”

    I see. You have to be “sophisticated” to find the deep meaning in three minutes of over-processed photos of dolls heads. What piffle.

  • Giving art some thought and some consideration DOES require a bit of sophistication, at the very least it requires opening your mind to different ways of dealing with issues AND with technology:

    Suppose, just suppose for a moment, that you are expected to fulfill some major expectation that your parents or your friends have of you, like creating a family. And you can’t … You keep turning that issue around in your head for many years, feeling inadequate and full of guilt. In your mind you process images of kids that take the shape of dolls, with harsh little faces, over and over again. THAT WOULD BE YOUR ONGOING REALITY. Translating that into photography, your images of these child substitutes are harsh in contrast, almost on the brink of overexposure, in an objectified barren space. As time goes by, you are kinder to yourself, you at least somewhat ameliorate the matter in your heart and mind, and the dolls are tucked into sheets, photographed more softly, YOU SORT OF ACCEPT IT.

    I’m a guy who along the way made choices not to have children, and even that causes people to question you. THIS ART SPEAKS TO ME! No need to attack it if it doesn’t speak to you.

  • I’ve been deeply moved by some of the comments and reflections about my work on this thread.

    PETE & GERHARD. I was grateful to see your sensible and encouraging words that moved the discussion to open it up into seeing something different here.

    JOHN FULTON. This was certainly a project that started inward by looking in the mirror, and in my next phase, I will be looking out. I feel a lot better positioned to do my next project having worked on this essay.

    FROSTFROG. Dear friend, I hope you will get better internet connection so you can see this work.

    ROBERTA & MILLI. The words of encouragement and support coming from you both as you and as women, is a huge confirmation to me that this work will make an impact. I wish more women will enter this discussion. Roberta you are awesome and Milli, I love you too :)

    MORGAN. I thank you for quoting the About section. Not many traverse fluidly through art and document.

    GORDON. The fact that you found yourself looking at the photos over and over and kept thinking about them, I can’t ask for anything more.Thank you.

    ZUN. While we all go through hard things, some of us get it a bit harder and as they say: It takes one to see one. I thank you for your words and the encouragement for my next phase.

    ANDY KROPA. Thank you for seeing beyond the eyes of a photojournalist, something that as you well indicate, may be hard for many expecting to see what they have been accustomed to usually find.

    JIM POWERS. Burn is a forum of interesting and intelligent discussions, however I personally believe it should all be in the spirit of constructive criticism. And I know that when that criticism comes charged with such rage, it never has anything to do with the topic, but the one criticizing it. Perhaps you too should look in the mirror.

    Panos, thanks, I’ll be in touch, may be you’ll see me in Venice Beach.

    David and team, thank you for this gift.

    While there’s just no simple way to etiquette this topic, visually or otherwise, it’s even more difficult, in fact impossible, to fill the empty wombs and empty picture frames of a childless woman. And these images while very personal, can perhaps in a way start to fill those empty frames. Not just with art that will speak to some, but even more importantly, with much needed awareness and discussion of an issue that has been quietly going on for way too long and rapidly growing into almost epidemic proportions. Under our noses, in our backyards; in the sisters, the friends and the strangers who have no voice and face hostility and rejection, the shame and isolation of a “mommy and me” society and a world that throughout history, has only revered the mother and child.

  • Or why not just photograph dead puppies picked up along the highway and say that symbolizes your loss at never having had children? Void the sentimental drivel in the artist’s statement, these would be just weird instagram style photos.

    Look, I can totally understand using photography to deal with your own emotions and disappointments. But this kind of thing doesn’t translate well outside your own very personal experience. And what purpose does it serve to dwell on disappointment, anyway? Life is too short. Photograph your collection of disembodied doll heads, put them away on a SD card, and move on with life. Screw your parents and friends expectations. It’s your life, not theirs.

  • The “instagram style” (which Edite’s work is not) and video presentations are part of how we as photographers can relate to the world out there. The technical approach is different, yet speaks to the younger audience. You will find a preoccupation with death in many of the current instagram photos, a clear feeling of loss in our violence-oriented societies.

  • JIM POWERS. I’m starting to see that my work pushes your buttons, and that’s fantastic. And while you may think that you’re only talking photo technicalities here, you for sure represent to me a large section of society that only knows how to be hostile when it comes to being unable or unwilling to accept change. Thank you for providing that mirror.

  • Jim, you make me laugh. You’re usually the one with the most gumption to say what you really think although for the most part I notice you don’t like much that gets published here. Like a few others, I also don’t like the over processed images and find the latter ones much more pleasing to the eye allowing some of your pain and statement to reach us. I’m sorry for your circumstances, maybe adopting a child would bring some love to you. In any case, congratulations and I hope you consider all these comments to be constructive.

  • “you for sure represent to me a large section of society that only knows how to be hostile when it comes to being unable or unwilling to accept change.”

    Pretentious nonsense produced in the name of art certainly does alienate “a large section of society.” Eventually, you end up talking to yourself.

  • Congratulations Edite!

    Your series is quite far form what we’re “usually” exposed to at Burn, and in some ways that’s really exciting all by itself.

    I didn’t get the chance to actually watch the whole video before today, but have wondered for quite some days what the doll heads were all about.

    Children always tear some of their toys apart, I know for sure I did when I was a little girl. By curiosity or by accident, dolls always seem to loose their heads somehow. And bringing that aspect into the whole subject matter takes a lot of courage.

    Thank you for sharing your story, and good luck on the second part of this work.


  • Hi edite.

    Dolls.. When I first viewed the photos I actually thought I was intended as a comment upon either child abuse or infant mortality.. Second to those subjects I have also seen dolls employed to explore themes of feminism and beautification.. I was actually surprised to read the statement subsequently.

    For me, it is simply that the objects have been used in so many contexts for such varying metaphors that it takes some of the impact away from the work.
    I think the subject itself is extremely interesting and probably under represented in art circles.. Although I could be corrected there.

    It sounds as if you have a plan moving forward for a completely different approach to representing the issue, and that plan sounds more cohesive and developed, so I wish you luck with it.

    in this first working attempt you have opened the door by making public your personal angst.. While I think ‘congratulations’ may be to celebratory, I certainly commend you for that.. And add that perhaps the most difficult bridge has been crossed.. You have thought, begun shooting and begun showing.

    Look forward to seeing an evolution with more idiosyncratic approach..


  • ..and some of the comments in this thread leave me cold.

  • :))….

    love it (actually, it was too short for me!; ))…honestly, even Jim, I can’t imagine how a viewer doesn’t feel the increadible forward moment of this piece pushing toward loss …building from abstract play and playful substitution to to quite powerful (visual and emotional) grown-up loss by the end of the sequence….the ending is really about loss (i watched it 2xs and didn’t even read the text until now)…actually, painful acceptance of loss (my first sense was that this artist had lost a child and was trying to come to terms with that…its so obvious in the ending when the dolls are discarded and all that beautiful, shadowy heart-opening loss….anyway…no need to write further, because there are so many rich and thoughtful and insightful comments above, nothing me to add, accept this,

    congrats Edite…will be interesting to see how this ‘internal’ piece plays off against your external gazing….

  • Edite, today I have a faster connection – ethernet – but even so it is slow. I opened it two hours ago, went off and did other things, came back – and only 7 seconds had loaded! I might not be able to watch this one until I get home, or maybe it will come up in Barrow. This internet is run by the school district and I have never been able to load a You Tube video on it, either. Maybe they block videos.

  • I surprise myself. I get it. As a parent I feel the angst. I know some men who would love to have children but continue to be childless for all sorts of reasons and that this is a sadness for them.

    Ordinarily I run a mile from these sorts of projects. This one moved me, though on a technical level it annoyed me several times but much of this is discussed above.

    Well done for being published here.

    – Paul.

  • (This comment has taken me ages to write just to get my thoughts in some sort of order and I’ve rewritten it several times.)

    I usually don’t agree with Jim’s views but here I feel he is right. Dolls (and their heads) are serious cliché and so over used as a representation of children in Hollywood films, short stories etc and for any number for purposes that using them to express something so serious is beyond my understanding.

    I would love to have a child and I’m with the love of my life, but we will not be able to have children, and this causes me great sadness and pain. I could not express this in pictures or words.

    The artist states this best with “the need to express what no medium can, what no words or time could ever color, what no dreams or images could ever realize.” Yet then goes on to try and express this very feeling with such a god awful cliché as dolls heads, it fills me with … the best word is anger. The artist states that this feeling can’t be expressed then plays pictures of dolls heads… the most over used symbol I can think of.

    The first thing that springs to mind is the opening (doll filled) credits of the tv series American Horror Story

    Really? Really? Using Dolls heads to express the unexpressable?!!!

  • Sorry, a bit more,

    I would not have minded the photos/music on their own, but after watching it and then reading the artists statement about what it was meant to show …arrgh!

  • It is also a cliché that we must all reproduce in order to be considered worthy members of society.

    Why not use one cliché to visualize another? It’s been done before, but can be newly found.

    Obviously the approach is eliciting a variety of strong emotions, a mark of relevant art!

  • “Everything” is a cliche, one way or another…
    “Everything” has been photographed million times before… that doesnt mean we have to stop shooting or trying to express ourselves..photography (for me at least) is a form of therapy…i need to keep shooting to “survive” (not talking $$), to stay healthy..in touch with my feelings , emotions, subconscious…
    thank you ALL

  • think of music….Pearl Jam “reproducing” Masters of War by Bob Dylan

  • The essay is pretty unresolved at this stage and lacks that universal platform that it seeks. Despite this it is Jim’s statements have given that extra dimension to the work that Edite failed to create visually. She should thank Jim for taking this to work another level.

  • The work is a Beginning and not and end.. As all work is perhaps..
    The trouble with dwelling upon this price is that that negates the most important part of the statement above – which actually makes clear that this is a beginning of something which is underrepresented..

    Why not forget dolls heads and cliche .. Think about the fundamental point which has provoked the work.. And wonder if it is something which is worthy of continuation.. I think it is.

    If edite was sitting in my lounge, crying, telling me she was unable to have children THAT is a cliche.. What would you think of me to gruffly say,
    “This is just crap”

    All.. I have problems with this work, as it is and as I mentioned.. For the love of cashew nuts dig deeper though and empathise.. You don’t have to like this to encourage further development.. Further thought.

    Mat of the comments here are cliche.. Most of the comments authors parodies of themselves..


  • Sent the wrong text should read………..The essay is pretty unresolved at this stage and lacks that universal platform that it seeks. Despite this, Jim’s statements have given the work a extra dimension that Edite failed to create visually. She should thank Jim for taking this to work another level.

  • David just reinforced it all Jim has become the essay as he justifies his stance

  • The sadness is that a play regarding philistine vr artisan, albeit unresolved, is well below the idea and concepts potential.

    The limelight stolen so easily.. When the frustration, rage, bitterness and perhaps resignation of a fuller piece could have affected a different response..

    And also – as in 2nd post.. Many of the comments leave me cold.. It’s not only the neigh Sayers that are guilty of condescension.. Many of the comments leave me cold.. And perhaps that is the works failing also.

    As usual, jim just requests, and gains, more attention.

    Hey – did you know about mirrors and windows?

  • Also – read closer.. I was writing to encourage a further development rather than writing to reinforce the “it all” of your own words imants..

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