Artist Filmmaker Seeks Health Care Equality in Territories of the Breast
Sonia Báez-Hernández is an artist, filmmaker and cancer survivor who has produced a powerful film with a message for change. Territories of the Breast raises awareness about discriminatory health practices and healthcare inequities for minority women in the U.S The film is a personal narrative featuring Báez-Hernández and her story and also profiles interviews with cancer survivors. Producer, Sonia Báez-Hernández, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 at an outpatient facility in Evanston. While at the facility, she reports, she canceled her surgery twice because her rights to participate in critical decisions about her care were violated. This documentary clearly demonstrates that navigating the healthcare system without medical coverage can be a confusing, harsh and at times dismissive experience. Báez-Hernández interviews women who have fought for their lives and lived through cancer while battling the system seeking treatment. The film stresses the importance of early detection and medical care for all women and questions how in a country of enormous wealth, preventive healthcare is neither affordable nor equitable for all citizens. Territories of the Breast courageously ventures into challenging territory exploring difficult questions about human rights and healthcare, a film by an artist, filmmaker and healthcare reform champion that could open the way for transformative change.
by Cheryl McLean, Editor of International Journal of The Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice IJCAIP
Territories of the Breast’ Stands in a Tradition of Women’s Activism
"Territories of the Breast’ stands in a tradition of women’s activism about breast cancer and its treatment, making a valuable contribution to art about illness. This is a moving and informative movie that begins from Sonia Baez-Hernandez’s own diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. Using voices from patients, families and medical practitioners, it tells stories of problems faced by women of color, for whom screening opportunities and treatment options are comparatively limited. It also raises the issue of what women without health insurance in the USA face when they receive a diagnosis of breast cancer. Using her own life as an artist, Sonia shows how she encounters the effects of disease, one part of this being the making of this DVD and its promise of help to other women in situations similar to her own.
by Alan Radley, Professor of Social Psychology, Loughborough University, UK.