“Some have experienced domestic hardships, others were in doubt if they should terminate or go through with their pregnancies, even though nearly always advised not to. Nonetheless, none of them has regretted their decision, and now many consider their children their saving grace ” – Marta Giaccone

Be still, my heart is a documentary project about teenage mothers in South Wales, UK. Britain has one of Europe’s highest rates of teenage pregnancies and in the eyes of society this is still looked down upon.

I was interested in meeting young girls and let them tell their stories through photos and interviews. Meeting them has given me a positive insight into a situation that is often regarded as a ‘mistake’. In fact the young mothers I photographed – whom many see as “irresponsible” – are proud women and brave mothers who, from as early as 16, fight to defend their dignity with a humbling maturity. Some have experienced domestic hardships, others were in doubt if they should terminate or go through with their pregnancies, even though nearly always advised not to. Nonetheless, none of them has regretted their decision, and now many consider their children their saving grace.

Artist Statement by Marta Giaccone. Be Still, My Heart was started in 2014 and continues as an ongoing project.

Marta Giaccone (1988, Milan, Italy) received an MA in Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales, Newport, UK, in 2014 and a BA in English and Hispanic American Literatures at the University of Milan, Italy, in 2011. Her work and research focus on issues related to family and youth with a particular interest in the feminine perspective. She is also drawn to the juxtapositions of cultures and ideologies found within contemporary American society. Evolving through long-term documentary projects shot on medium and large format film, her photographic practice enables a more intimate and contemplative approach. Her editorial clients include Libération, De Volkskranti-D Italia, Munchies Italia, Edizioni San Paolo. Her images have appeared on print and online on i-D USAVogue.itRefinery29IL Sole24OreCosmopolitan, Il Manifesto and D di Repubblica among others. She has worked for Richard Mosse as a production assistant for Incoming and Heat Maps; for Magnum Photos NYC, Bruce Davidson, Alessandra Sanguinetti and Mary Ellen Mark as an intern; for Mark Power and Olivia Arthur as a translator.

Marta’s work was kindly recommended by Chiara Bardelli, Photo Editor at Vogue Italia.

To learn more about Marta’s work please visit:

Website: https://www.martagiaccone.com/

Instagram: @martagiaccone

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