Periods: A Brief History
Camden Market: 21 May 2021 - 19 Sept 2021
Bethnal Green: 19 Mar 2022 - 1 Feb 2023
At any given time, 800 million people are menstruating around the world, with just over 50% of the global population getting a period at some point in their lives. Despite this, periods are shrouded in shame and stigma.
Where has the taboo of periods come from? Has it always been this way? Are there cultures that believe that menstruation is a positive thing?
This exhibition highlights just a few of the stories from history, putting a spotlight on the ongoing issues that surround periods. We will briefly explore how societal beliefs about periods have impacted the lives of millions of people, throughout the centuries, to this day.
Periods: A Brief History was sponsored by The Body Shop.
Image: The Pool of Blood and Filth, The Gates To Taizong's Hell
Scroll L, Taiwan, 19th Century
Image: Charlotte Willcox (2019)
Muff Busters: Vagina Myths and How To Fight Them
16 Nov 2019 - 30 Nov 2020
Just under 50% of the world’s population has one. Most of us came into the world through one. Yet vaginas, and the rest of the gynaecological anatomy, are still a taboo subject.
Like any topic that is under represented in society and education, more myths and legends exist in popular culture about all things “down there” than fact. This is directly impacting people’s lives in more ways than one.
A lack of information and a lack of relatable, accessible examples of where the vagina is and what a vulva contains and looks like means that unachievable ideas of what is normal have been formed. This has led to unrealistic expectations of what we should expect from our bodies, what they should look like and our relationship with them. More importantly, it has led people to take extreme actions with their own bodies – for example, between 2002 and 2012 labiaplasty surgery increased by 500% on the NHS alone.
We all have a different face, a different nose – so why wouldn’t we all have a different vulva?
This exhibition highlights just a handful of the myths that circulate in popular culture, the internet and many other platforms about the gynaecological anatomy and hopes to prove that myths and legends are for fairy-tales, not in our bodies.