With all this ‘white feminist playing and making art with their period blood’ on my dashboard, I did some research and came across this South African artist who uses hers own menstrual blood to address the queerphobia and violence she has experienced with being a South African lesbian, Zanele Muholi.
Through her use of menstrual blood in her show Isilumo siyaluma (Period Pains, 2006-2011) in Cape Town, Muholi sought to tell the story of black lesbians in South Africa and represent “curative rape.” She wrote of the project in a press release for the exhibit:
Isilumo siyaluma is a Zulu expression that can be loosely translated as “period pains/ periods pain”. Additionally, there is an added meaning in the translation that there is something secretive in and about this blood/“period in time.”
At one level, my project deals with my own menstrual blood, with that secretive, feminine time of the month that has been reduced within Western patriarchal culture as dirty.
On a deeper level then, my menstrual blood is used as a vehicle and medium to begin to express and bridge the pain and loss I feel as I hear and become witness to the pain of ‘curative rapes’ that many of the girls and women in my black lesbian community bleed from their vaginas and their minds.
Between March – May 2011, three (3) young black lesbians under the age of 25 were brutally murdered in various townships [….] As we continue to live and survive in troubled times as black lesbians in South Africa and within the continent, where rampant hate crimes and brutal killings of same gender loving women is rife, this ongoing project is an activist/artist’s radical response to that violence.
yet another reason to love her.
Trigger Warning: blood, menstrual fluid
“Not Yours” by Heather Freeman
A woman’s body belongs to herself and herself alone. This pro-choice, pro-woman art piece strives to drive this point home as firmly and diversely as possible. 50% of the proceeds will go to the National Network of Abortion Funds.
“Your discomfort is not worth my life.” FTW
Here’s a new article about an up-and-coming feminist photographer, Ingrid Berthon-Moine, who’s been making waves in the art world with her photos of women wearing menstrual blood as lipstick.
An excerpt from a recent article in Bitch Magazine:
Germaine Greer once advised us all to taste our own menstrual blood. I assumed she was making a point more than genuinely advocating taking that brave step (a bit like when it turned out that adventurer Bear Grylls actually stayed in hotels whilst filming documentaries on how to survive in the wild—sensible boy, I thought), but it seems that some people are more than willing to take her word to heart and go whole hog.
Ingrid Berthon-Moine photographed twelve women wearing their periods as lipstick, cleverly labeling each shot with a stereotypical cosmetics industry name, from Rouge Interdit to Action Red. This conjures up so many different associations: war paint, a trick played on sleazy men who get too close, generations of women having to hide their biological functions monthly and being scared of tell-tale red stains whilst simultaneously painting on crimson lips that meant something else entirely, that you’re feeling confident and flirty, that you want to look good.
Here’s the (NSFW) link to Ingrid Berthon-Moine’s website: www.ingridberthonmoine.com