This week, I bring you this much anticipated conversation with ethnographer and award-winning photographer and explorer Alegra Ally. Via her Wild Born Project, Alegra has traveled to the far-flung corners of the globe to document the traditional ecological knowledge of indigenous motherhood—from pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding to rite-of-passage rituals for young girls.
This year, Alegra became a new mother herself. She spoke to me from her native Israel, where she and her husband (free diver and photographer Erez Beatus) were enjoying time with family before embarking with their baby son on their next adventure. For Alegra, the drive to explore seems inborn; here, she shares the remarkable story of her first solo expedition to Papua New Guinea at the age of 17, the near improbable logistics of photographing remote tribal birth, and the “superhuman” power she’s found in the wake of new motherhood.
Here’s the run-down:
Traveling to Tonga as a new mother
Alegra’s own experience of birth
Working as a diving instructor, early travels and how she met Erez
Her childhood in Israel, and “planning” her first expedition at age 11
Her first solo expedition to Papua New Guinea at age 17
The spiritual and intuitive search that led her to Wild Born
How she documents indigenous motherhood: the logistics
Her forthcoming book, her new nonprofit, and what’s next for Alegra and Wild Born