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Published on December 30th, 2011 | by DerbyLife

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Derby Art: Yes These Bones Shall Live, by Kate Wilhelm

Check out this amazing gallery of photos “exploring motherhood and identity” by Kate Wilhelm. Her project features a host of skaters who are mothers.

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“I got the idea for this project after my very good friend joined a roller derby league, and I saw her play her first bout. From the very first I was fascinated with the sport–I was intrigued by the gender play at work, the way the women played with ideas of sexiness and aggression while participating in a very physically demanding sport. I immediately wanted to know more about the women behind the derby personas.

I was especially intrigued to see so many children at the match. Many derby girls are also mothers, and their whole families come out to watch. Typically, when you assume the identity of mother, a host of expectations immediately follows. Mothers are caught between an impossible ideal and a society that profoundly devalues their work. Soft, warm, innately nurturing, no longer sexual, weak, passive, subservient to others’ needs, self-sacrificing–in reality, mothers are more complex than any list could suggest. What better way to subvert the stereotypes and prescriptions than to don fishnets and engage in a legitimate, full-contact sport that also plays with performance, sexuality and aggression?”

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