Aminata Maraesa

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Aminata Maraesa’s current research in southern Belize examines the intersection of public health ideology and nation building in the on-the-ground practices of village-level midwives, public health workers, and pregnant women as they navigate both the local and transnational healthcare initiatives of the Belizean Ministry of Health and non-governmental organizations.  She seeks to examine pregnancy and birth in this region as local public health programs and transnational development projects are actualized in the sociocultural context of birth in everyday life and to provide a framework for analyzing how the local dimensions of globalized healthcare initiatives complicate the linear trajectory of modernization and development paradigms.  Aminata’s first documentary film entitled Woman to Woman: Doula Assisted Childbirth (2003) was completed within the Certificate Program in Culture and Media.  This film combines didactic information about pregnancy and childbirth with an ethnographic focus on members of the New York Metropolitan Doula Group as they struggle to preserve the rights of their clients in the face of overwhelming medical pressure to accept technological intervention during labor.  It is currently being distributed by Documentary Educational Resources.