Young Women Speaking the Economy

I.M.O.W. Team

Sacred Family

In times of economic crisis, many families have to make sacrifices. But how do these sacrifices affect the stability and longevity of that most important social unit: the family? Multimedia artist Perla Bajder uses sculpture to reflect on how financial uncertainty can lead to devastating degradation of families.


Sacred Family I
Mixed Media on wood. 50 x 70 cm.

Sacred Family II
Mixed Media on wood. 50 x 70 cm.

My Family
Mixed Media on wood. 40 x 60 cm.

Relief from the Flood
Mixed Media on wood. 40 x 60 cm.

Sacred Family explores the desecration of the family as the essential social institution. My work depicts fragmented and confused families, with ties that are slowly being eroded. Family members are being overwhelmed by the seemingly impossible pursuit of economic development. Because of the severe economic crisis, families have been transformed: a parent might leave their family to find work in another country; an elderly person cannot rely on their pension, so must move in with an already financially-stretched family; parents cannot afford to provide their children with the opportunities they want for them. All of these circumstances serve to divide families, weakening our society's most significant social unit.

In these situations of extreme economic crisis, state governments have not done enough to step in, and the wellbeing of individuals of all ages and social standing-elderly, young, middle class, poor-is neglected. Indeed, in some instances you can find whole families sleeping on the streets at night wrapped in blankets. In my work, the presence of women, mothers, and grandmothers act as guides in the family structure. They are stable, like driftwood in the middle of the sea; strong, tenacious, non-violent, capable of things men aren't.

The style of my work is influenced by my childhood; I come from generations of Polish carpenters, and many of my toys were handmade by carpenters in my family. I can remember the scents, textures, colors and images on the wood, all of which were instrumental in developing my imagination. Returning to the toys from my childhood, I use the same style to attempt to represent the current situation of families in Argentina.

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