Brandy 2004-2014

By Moa Karlberg – 2004: Brandy lives in a trailer on the countryside with her alcoholic father and her six months old son Christian. Life is poor and messy, but abortion was never an option. George W Bush is soon to be re-elected, and there are many in Missouri supporting the strict abortion laws. Brandy just turned 19, I am 20. I follow her every step and every mood swing, help taking care of Christian, and we become friends talking a lot about the differences of our lives. 2009: Same trailer. Same father, but he is in detox now. Brandy has always been skinny, but now she is boney. Her eyes are tired. The kids – she gave birth to two more – are gone, Brandy lost custody due to drug abuse. She has been married and divorced. I clean up the kitchen mess, listen, give advice. I hardly photograph anything, it feels wrong to use the camera. 2014: After years of no contact I finally find Brandy on Facebook. She looks healthier and happier on the photos. She stopped using drugs, lives with her new boyfriend and their little daughter, Brandy’s fourth child, in a St Louis suburb. Brandy’s father passed away last fall. Christian is nine years now, he lives with his grandmother together with his two sisters. They recently started visiting Brandy in weekends. Grandma is their mother, Brandy is their ”birthmom”.