In the media
101 Vagina in the media
I was very excited to be live on TV for the first time on Channel 31!
Friday 27 September 2013
The Comic Box were doing a series of interviews of artists that were participating in the Melbourne Fringe arts festival. Normally they have a focus on theatre and performance art, but for the fringe they branch out and interview a broad range of art.
The other interviews are edited out, but the show intro and credits remain. It’s a bit kooky, but I think I got the main messages out there well enough :)
Thanks to the crew who put it together, all voluntarily !
101 Vagina has enjoyed a bit of media attention, but in spite of this there has actually been very little in the way of a serious review of either the book or exhibition.
This article by some journalism students is actually the best review I have seen to date because it actually speaks about how the writer is affected as a viewer experiencing the content. It conveys a little of the effect that the exhibition has had on so many people.
I spent almost the entire time the exhibition was on sitting there, watching and engaging with guests. The most common experience that I observed and that people shared was that they felt confronted, but in a way that opened them, rather than closing them.
And this is after all the main aim of the 101 Vagina project, to open hearts and minds.
Thank you to Erin Lyons and Ivana Krsteska.
Inga Walton wrote this piece for art magazine Trouble Mag.
See the article link here, 101 Vagina is the last five paragraphs.
101 Vagina is on the front page of City Hub this week.
Great article too! Decent journalism rather than simply sensationalism.
Click the article below for a larger image, read the article online here, or pick one up on the streets around Sydney.
City Hub is:
“Published weekly and freely available Sydney-wide.
Copies are also distributed to serviced apartments, hotels,
convenience stores and newsagents throughout the city.”
Scan the QR code with a free QR code scanner from your app store to see the website it takes you to :)
[An edit of this article was also published in Ciao newspaper, July 12 2013]
Then, after 101 Vagina was selected to be part of a group exhibition as part of the Sydney Fringe, the venue refused to allow the images to be shown, saying that they want the venue to be “family friendly”. So I censored the images with QR codes that lead people to various vagina censorship related articles.
Why? Why should children not see, talk about, hear different words for, draw and reflect on vaginas? Are vaginas bad? Are penises bad? Mine isn’t, is yours?
The younger the children are, the more recently they have themselves just emerged from a vagina, after having been conceived through one. But in spite of this there seems to be a cultural fear around children and anything sex related coming within proximity of each other.
Of course, children should be protected from sexual predators, but somehow, the valid and important concerns about sexual abuse have resulted in sex being given a blanket label, bad. The act that led to their existence is labeled bad. What are the two most forbidden words in the English language? Fuck and cunt.
How unfortunate! They should be words of celebration, exuberance, joy, pleasure, freedom & love.
Our culture is severely hobbled by sexual repression and suppression. The worst manifestation of this is sexual abuse and though it may not be the only cause, I believe we will never rid culture of sexual abuse without first dealing with the sexual repression and suppression which underpin it.
Guilt and shame does not arise naturally in us as children, it is taught to us by adults, whether directly or indirectly, through judgement and fear. It is adults who teach children that their bodies are to be hidden, not to touch themselves and not to say certain words. This means that it is up to us, the adults, to reverse this trend.
One of the best ways to reverse guilt and shame is through open discussion and direct engagement. A child who has had open, honest and respectful discussions about their bodies and sexuality is far less likely to end up with feelings of shame and guilt about their own. It also means they will be less likely to fall victim to externally imposed shame from various media or abusive comments.
Imagine if, instead of learning about sex through porn, children were from infancy taught to respect their own and other people’s bodies; that they are the masters of their own; that no part of it is shameful; that pleasure is a birthright, and that sex can be a beautiful act of bonding, joy and pleasure?
Fortunately there is a growing and international “sex positive” movement which is working to remove the negative stigma around bodies and sexuality and the 101 Vagina Exhibition and Festival of the Vagina are proudly part of that movement.
Breaking taboos can be creative fun and no one needs to get hurt in the process. In fact, years of hurt can begin to be undone in the process.
Here is an excerpt from one of the messages written and deposited in the “Write your own vagina message” box:
“… I was thrilled to bring my 3 yr old daughter along, and set her on the path for having pride of her vagina, her self, her future pleasure, her body and it’s life giving abilities & to make sure she’s empowered! …”
The ArtsHub article on Monday about the police visits to the 101 Vagina exhibition in Redfern has created a bit of a buzz :)
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