Press and Media Releases from the 101 Vagina project.
Media Release: 27 June 2013
Complaints to City of Sydney council about 101 Vagina Book
Complaints have been made to City of Sydney council about the 101 Vagina Exhibition on now at 107 Projects gallery at 107 Redfern st, Redfern.
One complaint focused on the posters around town advertising the exhibition. Though the posters contain no nudity they prominently feature the word vagina, which some people still seem to find offensive. The other complaint was that there were vagina photos displayed in the gallery windows, which there are not, though the photos are visible through the gallery windows when looking closely.
The police came to the 107 Projects gallery Thursday morning to follow up on the complaint, but they left when they realised that no photos were displayed in the windows and that they were clearly not pornographic.
However, they also said that something may need to be done if more complaints were received. It was not specified what that might entail.
The 101 Vagina Exhibition is on every day 12-5pm until this Sunday. On Saturday the Festival of the Vagina will bring together diverse artists, performers, educators and musicians in a celebration of the vagina with the aim of removing the taboo and shame that many people obviously still feel.
Besides the performers and speakers the day will also feature a Vagina Crafternoon, Large Vagina Photo Booth, Muff Muffin Decorating, Vaginal Mary Confessional, and Yoni Temple. Any artists are invited to bring their own vagina art to the gallery for exhibition.
Creator of the 101 Vagina coffee-table book and exhibition says: “Complaints like this show that we still have a long way to go in the removing of this taboo and in feeling comfortable with our bodies and our sexuality. We were all conceived and born through the vagina, vaginas are sacred, not obscene!”
The exhibition is also planned to be part of the Sydney Fringe and Melbourne Fringe festivals in September 2013.
101 Vagina Exhibition
27-30 June, 12-5pm
Festival of the Vagina
Saturday 29 June, 12-5pm
107 Projects - 107 Redfern St. Redfern
Media Release: 6 June 2013
101 Vagina Exhibition comes to Sydney
On 29 June 2013, Sydney will host Australia’s second Festival of the Vagina. The first was held in Melbourne in March as part of the 101 Vagina Book Launch and Exhibition, and attracted around 1000 visitors.
Philip Werner, the curator of the Festival of the Vagina and creator of the 101 Vagina project, will be bringing together Sydney’s diverse artists, educators, performers, and musicians, with the common purpose of removing the taboo and shame that many people still feel around their genitalia. He has also begun work on the 101 Penis project.
The award winning artist collective, 107 Projects, will play host to this unique event in Sydney in it’s spacious gallery at 107 Redfern Street, Redfern.
One of the highlights of the Festival of the Vagina will be the 101 Vagina Exhibition, in near life-size format.
101 Vagina is a coffee-table book comprising 101 beautiful black and white photos of vaginas (front on, standing pose) accompanied by a message by each woman from or about her vagina to the world. The aim of the book is to break down the taboo around the vagina and body image shame generally, as well as celebrating diversity and the sharing of story.
The book took over two years to complete and a successful crowdfunding campaign funded the first print run. Now published by Taboo Books, 101 Vagina is available for sale online at the 101 Vagina website and selected bookshops.
Festival of the Vagina:
Saturday 29 June, 2013
12 – 5pm.
101 Vagina Exhibition: (Book available online)
Thu 27 – Sun 30 June, 2013
12 – 5pm
107 Projects: 107 Redfern St. Redfern
Media Release: 26 November 2012
Vagina calendar raising funds for protest against violence towards women and girls
Toni Childs and One Billion Rising (V-Day) event organisers in Melbourne, Australia, in cooperation with the 101 Vagina Project, have released a 2013 Vagina Calendar to raise funds for a unique kind of protest.
On February 14, 2013 people around the globe will rise up and dance their protest against violence towards women and girls. We are inviting you to join the global campaign. Spearheaded by Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues and founder of V-Day, One Billion Rising has created a platform for women and men around the world to be seen and heard as they protest the reality that 1 in 3 women will suffer violence and exploitation in their lifetime (https://onebillionrising.org).
Toni Childs, three-time Grammy nominated recording artist, Emmy Winner, and long time advocate of women’s empowerment: “I am excited about coming together as a Nation to honor the women of Australia! It is time to heal and evolve and affirm that we as a Nation can create a violence free society! I believe in us, and I believe in the power and the deep wisdom that lives inside each one of us. I believe in the power to heal what has been broken in us, and to stop the ancestral cycles of abuse that we live with. We’re at the point of change… The cycle stops with each and every one of us!”
Coming out and standing up is a declaration and a resonance that ripples through us, our personal relationships, our society and the world! Valentines Day 2013 is about making the plausible possible… !!”
The event is to be held at Federation Square for maximum visibility, thereby challenging the invisibility of this issue.
One Billion Rising Melbourne even page: https://onebillionrising.org/
One Billion Rising Melbourne Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/
Dr Lauren Woodman, who also organises the Seven Sisters Festival feels that: “One Billion Rising is such a beautiful, empowering concept, we felt inspired by it’s vision and wish to support this global celebratory protest. We would love to shake the ground with Melbourne’s support of this issue by shaking, stomping & dancing ‘No’ to violence against women.”
The calendar itself will consist of 12 black and white photos from the upcoming 101 Vagina coffee-table book. Each image is accompanied by a message, from each woman, about her vagina.
101 Vagina was inspired by The Vagina Monologues out of which the V-Day Foundation and One Billion Rising sprang. It’s about breaking down the taboos around vaginas in particular and body image shame in general. It’s also about celebrating diverse bodies and raising funds for charity (https://101vagina.com).
Philip Werner, creator of the 101 Vagina project and organiser of Melbourne’s recent peace march in honour or Jill Meagher, says: “Sexual repression and sexual abuse are directly related and the taboos around our bodies and genitalia contribute to this repression. We enter the world through the vagina at conception and at birth. Vaginas are sacred, this taboo must end.”
Jenna Price, one of the women behind the Destroy the Joint movement, which the organisers wholeheartedly support, interviewed Werner for this Fairfax Media article: https://goo.gl/zWyiT
Federation Square charge $20,000 to provide all the necessary infrastructure and services for the event.
$10 from the sale of every calendar will go towards the One Billion Rising event and corporate sponsors are also being sought to meet event costs.
One Billion Rising Melbourne organisers:
- Toni Childs (Emmy award winning singer/songwriter)
- Tamar Spatz (Teacher & women’s rights activist)
- Dr Lauren Woodman (Seven Sisters Festival event organiser)
- Dr Caroline Lambert (Women’s human rights advocate)
- Philip Werner (Photographer, 101 Vagina project)
Purchase the 2013 Vagina Calendar here:
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 (https://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:
And the main page is at:
Philip is available for interview or questions through:
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.”
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 email@example.com
The creator, Philip Werner, is available for interviews in person or by phone.
- 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
- 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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
101 Vagina blog
Please call or email to arrange and interview.