When I couldn’t eat strawberries (because of food allergies), I pretended watermelons were strawberries.
— Vitória Bacchi

In WATERMELONS ARE NOT STRAWBERRIES I seek to better understand myself and to increase my awareness of how I react to challenges related to my experiences as a mother.

My two daughters were challenged with severe food allergies and learning difficulties in their early years. In helping them to cope with their adversities, I was forced to dig into my shadows and deal with fears, frustration, shame, and guilt caused by my unknown dyslexia, and to accept the fact that I too have a food-related health condition (celiac disease).

Food allergies and learning disabilities were the starting point of my journey in challenging my fears to be different. Once I let go of the rules and expectations I created for myself, which were not working for my daughters, the whole family dynamic changed. I didn’t want them to feel the constant neurotic need to fit into the social norms, as I did my whole life. We established our own “normal” way to live our lives, creating a sense of complicity, understanding, and empathy among each other, building a stronger relationship.

Dyslexia, ADHD, food allergies and celiac disease are all connected through families’ DNA. Therefore, while I was advocating for my girls, I learned how to advocate for myself. While I was trying to understand my daughters, I deeply understood myself.

In the beginning, it was a lonely path focused on trying to adapt and adjust my expectations of parenting. It turned into a life journey and artistic inquiry as I traced a connection between my childhood and my daughters' childhood.

WATERMELONS ARE NOT STRAWBERRIES has been a quest of self-identity, where I investigate human emotions, such as anxiety, melancholy, grief, happiness, and love, through my personal experiences.