‘You have already a child’, ‘Why are you still sad? Your pregnancy only ended after 12 weeks’, ‘You are young, you can have another one’ are common phrases that often show helplessness. Sometimes it is more helpful to say ‘I don’t have any words.’ Families with stillborn babies know what it feels like to be excluded, to lose friends, to quit or lose their jobs. They know about the loud silence after birth and the loud silence mentioning to others what happened. This work takes place in Germany, but families all over the world are affected. Some couples separate. Others give birth to another child. Some are not able to, mentally or physically. There are still many challenges communities need to speak about. Fortunately, there is also support available.
Stefanie Silber (b. 1975) is a German documentary photographer. Her work focuses on issues such as trauma, loneliness and grief. She started studying Photojournalism in Hanover in Germany at 39 years old, living her dream after working as a graphic designer and fighting for her right hand after an accident while working for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. She has been teaching undertakers and since 2020, has been supporting families with stillborn babies. Silber received a BFF Grant in 2018 and undertook a Nikon Masterclass in 2019. Her work has been included in several group exhibitions and she was recently announced as a 2020 Ian Parry Scholarship special award winner.