News and Views

News and Views about the project.

First draft of manuscript printed !

It was very exciting, after battling with printer settings for far too long etc, to finally print off a first draft manuscript of the book!

By now three years have passed since I first conceived the idea and two years (almost exactly) that I took the first photo, Vagina #001!

So it’s very satisfying and invigorating to see it in physical form after having spent so much time as an idea and as fragmented photos and stories. I am also pleased that this is essentially exactly as I had initially envisioned it, I have remained true to my stylistic concept as well as the book’s content, purpose etc.

Now I will be printing off a few to send out to see who might like to write a foreword.

Note that the final book will be much larger, hardcover, high quality, etc. The below is really just a first test run on an old laser printer.

Launch into the tweetosphere !

Omg omg omg, I’m allowed to be excited about this, right ?

Amanda Palmer tweeted this to her 700,000+ followers!

This might be normal or meh to some, but it’s the single biggest publicity hit so far!

I have also tweeted about the project to Johnny Depp (just started a publishing company), Oprah (saw her show YEARS ago where they were saying “vagina” out loud), Pink (bits), Lady Gaga (body image campaign) and Michale Moore (body politics). let’s see if they get behind the project… I think I’ll wet my pants if they do!

 

Other notable tweets so far:

Catherine Deveny (Comedian etc. Was in SBS ‘Go back to where you came from’)

Australian Federation of Medical Women (!!!)

Lisa Rogers (Made the labiaplasty documentary ‘The perfect vagina’)

101 Vagina posters up around town!

101 Vagina posters have spontaneously attached themselves to some power poles etc on Brunswick St in Fitzroy, a little on Smith St, High St Northcote, Punt Rd, Church St, and the list is growing.

If you post or see any posters or stickers around town, take a photo and email it to me :)

I’ve been playing with Poladroid, that’s why they all look like polaroids.

 

Newsletter #7 – 101 Vagina crowd-funding campaign !

101 Vagina crowd-funding campaign !

NEWSLETTER for http://101vagina.com
Dear {your name here},After over two years in the making the time has finally come!

The 101 Vagina crowdfunding campaign has been launched !!!

http://pozible.com/101vagina

I approached many publishers, but they are all afraid of vaginas!

So this campaign is to raise funds for self publishing. But it’s not a donation, if the campaign is successful, you will actually get a copy of the book as a reward!

(Pozible is the Australian equivalent of Kickstarter)

What do I need from you? Please share this project ! :)

1. Go to http://pozible.com/101vagina & watch the video!

2. Pledge your support

3. Share with your friends, far and wide!

Sharing is a simple gesture you can do which can really help get this project off the ground!

Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or other social media; whether it’s an email newsgroup, forum or chat room; whether it’s your blog, website or youtube, sharing will help get this baby off the ground!

Please like the Facebook page. Follow on Tumblr and Twitter.

You can also download and print a promo poster here which you can post around your favorite hangouts. Or give me your address and I’ll post some out to you.

I’ve been working on this project for two years, now she needs to fly!

Thanks so much to everyone involved so far, but it’s not over yet!

During this campaign I will be sending out a newsletter every week or two. Please bear with me, if this campaign is not successful the book may never be printed.

I will also have some campaign meetings for people who want to help get the word out in any way or just contribute ideas. Might have the first one next Sunday 14th Oct at my place (Melbourne, Australia). Please get in touch if you can come along.

Hope you’re all having a great weekend!

Kindest regards,
Philip

Vagina!

Media Release: 101 Vagina Pozible crowdfunding campaign launched to tackle body image taboo.

Media Release: 5 October 2012
101 Vagina Pozible crowdfunding campaign launched to tackle body image taboo.

Melbourne photographer, Philip Werner, has launched a crowd-funding campaign (http://pozible.com/101vagina) to support the publication of a taboo smashing coffee table photo book.

Alarmed by the huge increase in labiaplasty which he sees as a manifestation of the taboo around women’s sexuality, Philip has produced the coffee-table photo book, simply called 101 Vagina, which presents 101 black and white photos of vaginas in all their various forms, each with a story by the woman concerned. The stories are candid and span the emotional gamut from raw to funny, from joyful to sad.

The book aims to help break down body image taboos, raise money for women’s charities and celebrate women’s bodies in all their diversity.

Philip was initially inspired by Eve Ensler’s book The Vagina Monologues and wanted to contribute to the causes she highlighted , for example the V-Day foundation and OneBillionRising campaign which are working to end violence against women and girls and has contacted V-Day to request permission to host a V-Day or V-Men event.

He decided to utilise his photographic skills to help people talk about body image issues, heal old wounds and prevent new ones. Thus 101 Vagina was born.

Over a period of two years he took photos of 101 volunteer subjects and collected their stories. The project has already sparked debate and helped its subjects and now Philip wants to publish it in coffee-table book format so it can have a wider effect.

“As a society we have such an unhealthy relationship with our bodies. Our sexuality is repressed and so many people carry deep shame about their body.

“I believe that sexual repression contributes to acts of rape, abuse and harassment. It also makes us easily manipulated into buying things we don’t need, the alarming increase in labiaplasty being the most glaring example.

“By tackling these taboos, the project allows a more open dialogue and helps us feel better about ourselves. Let’s not forget that sex should be about pleasure and joy.”

Five dollars from the sale of every book will also go to various women’s charities.

“Because I was first inspired by Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues so I wanted to give back to the causes she has highlighted.”

This Pozible crowd-funding campaign runs for about three months and needs to raise $20,000 for the first large print run to keep the cost per book down. People can pledge any amount from $1 upwards, and those pledging $50 (plus postage) or more will receive a copy of the book once it’s printed. Effectively it becomes a pre-order or the book, rather than a donation.

“The great thing with this Pozible campaign is that everybody wins. The project wins because it will enable the book to be printed, the supporters win because they will get the book as a reward, and various charities will win from the funds raised. Besides, once it hit’s retail stores it will more likely sell for around $70, so Pozible supporters will be getting a bargain”.

The Pozible campaign page includes a video where Philip and several participants talk about the project.

Visit the websites to see what it is all about and make your pledge to support the project!

For the Pozible campaign please visit:
http://pozible.com/101vagina

And the main page is at:
http://101vagina.com

Philip is available for interview or questions through:
e: philip@philipwernerfoto.com

One Billion Rising

Help end violence against women and girls. http://onebillionrising.org/

I just signed up to this campaign, no hesitation.

It was The Vagina Monologues after all that first inspired me to do this project. The author, Eve Ensler, founded the V-Day foundation, who are running this campaign.

I have contacted them to see if I can host a V-Day event in conjunction with the book launch and exhibition, will see if they are up for that.

Check it out and sign up.

Media release: More participants required for 101 Vagina – the taboo-smashing coffee-table book project

Media release: 1 May 2012

More participants required for

101 Vagina – the taboo smashing coffee table book project

Dear Vagina, at first you were playful fun without me having any understanding of what you were. Then for quite a while you were mysterious and unknown, and I didn’t know why, but I wasn’t comfortable knowing you too well. Then we became friends and have been growing ever closer since. I’m glad that I know you.”

SUMMARY

The 101 Vagina Project is creating a coffee table book of simple, beautiful black and white images of vaginas accompanied by a message from or about her vagina to the world.

The goal is to include 101 women, as the title suggests, and is currently sitting at 69, so we need 32 more!

So far everyone has been white and mainly 20-50. It would be great to include some black, brown and much older women.

Besides that, there is also the opportunity for women to share a vagina related experience on the blog section of the website.

At some point it may feel appropriate to open the blog up to men sharing vagina-related experiences and 101 Penis is on the cards.

People interested in participating can visit the website or write to vagina@101vagina.com

The creator, Philip Werner, is available for interviews in person or by phone.

METHOD

  • Take photographs of 101 vaginas using a 1960’s medium format Rolleiflex with black and white film. I love the process of using it and love the quality of film. Digital backup shots will also be taken.
  • Collate and arrange photos and text into a coffee table style hard-cover book
  • Publish the book via a publisher or by self-publishing and arrange a book launch and exhibition

PROJECT AIMS

  • Break down guilt, shame, taboo or stigma surrounding vaginas
  • Create an object of simple, aesthetic beauty in the form of a coffee table book
  • Give participants a way to send a message to the world from or about their vaginas
  • Show the variety and beauty of vaginas, in particular to women who tend to see fewer than men
  • Be able to donate a bunch of cash to non-profit groups which support women in various ways
  • Challenge the status quo.

INSPIRATION

I was first inspired by reading The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler while travelling in the USA in 2007. I continue to be inspired by it and the organisation Eve has created, V-day, to end violence against women, along with many other similar organisations.

The idea of doing a coffee table book arose after returning to Australia and I had started doing some nude photography.

Since starting the project I have come across other similar or related projects by other artists which continue to inspire this project. Above all I am inspired by vaginas and their owners!

Participation is anonymous.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Philip Werner was born in Germany in 1973 and migrated to Australia with his family at the age of 11. Germany has a proud history of nude bathing (FKK – Freie Koerper Kultur – Free Body Culture), saunas in Germany are almost all mixed and swim wear is not worn. Bravo, the most popular magazine for teenagers in Germany, has a two-page spread where readers, a girl and a boy, participate in a nude shoot and share their body-related experiences and attitudes ranging from puberty and menstruation, first sexual experiences, hangups and hobbies etc. So Germans grow up in a culture where the body is normal and accepted – much more so than in most Anglo-based cultures, like Australia, where there is still a lot of shame around the body, nudity and genitalia.

With this background Philip was always dismayed at the shame and guilt people carry about their bodies and nudity in particular, and was delighted when he discovered the movements that aim to turn these attitudes around and help people free themselves from the guilt and shame they feel.

Photographically, Philip has been around cameras all his life with both his parents being keen photographers. He launched his website in 2008 in order to share his passion, and has since turned the hobby into a part-time profession. His main interest is in portraiture, seeking always to capture people authentically.

Websites where his work is exhibited include:

http://philipwernerfoto.com
http://tumblr.philipwernerfoto.com
http://redbubble.com/people/philipwerner

 

PARTICIPATION

There are two main ways that people can participate in this project, people can do either or both.

1. Vagina Photograph and Message for inclusion in the book.

Women can participate by having their vagina photographed and writing a message from or about their vagina to the world, to be included in the book.

2. Vagina Story for the blog

Women can also participate by sending in a vagina related story, poetry or art for inclusion in the blog section of the website.

Anyone interested in participating may email vagina@101vagina.com

 

WHAT ABOUT 101 PENIS?

Yes, I have registered the domain and intend to take this on once 101 Vagina is more complete.

 

WEBSITE AND CONTACT DETAILS

101 Vagina home page
http://101vagina.com

101 Vagina blog
http://101vagina.com/blog

Email address
vagina@101vagina.com


Please call or email to arrange and interview.