101 Vagina is about breaking down the taboo around vaginas and body image shame generally. It confronts the lies we are told about what’s normal and celebrates our uniqueness and diversity. 101 Vagina is also about the sharing of story, of experience; the passing down of knowledge and wisdom.
This book contains 101 beautiful black and white photos of 101 women, along with a message, story or poem written by each woman to accompany their photo. The messages are candid and span the spectrum of emotions. They are raw and honest and form a small compendium of women’s experiences with their bodies and womanhood in general, with a focus on the vagina.
101 Vagina is light and profound, cheeky and deep.
- Create an object of simple, aesthetic beauty in the form of a coffee table book of black & white photographs of women’s vaginas (See vagina vs vulva explanation here).
- Give the women involved a platform to send a message to the world from, or about, their vaginas by including text from the women with the image.
- Further break down any shame, taboo or stigma surrounding vaginas.
- Show the variety and beauty of vaginas, in particular to women, who tend to see fewer than men.
- Challenge the status quo of what is acceptable as a coffee table photo book and a topic for public conversation.
- Donate $5 from the sale of every book to women’s charities.
- Take photographs of 101 women’s vaginas as viewed directly from the front in standing pose, including the hips as seen on the home page.
- Collate and arrange photos and text into a coffee table style hard cover book.
- Publish the book via a publishing house or by self-publishing. Promote the book in various ways and arrange a book launch and exhibitions.
- Possibly also create other related materials such as a calendar, cards, t-shirts, or other promotional material.
- As far as possible this project will be shot using medium format black and white film in a 1960′s Rolleiflex. That’s just because I love the process of using it and love the quality of film. Digital backup photos will also be taken.
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 (see Philip Werner Foto). I knew of no other such book and found none when searching online at the time.
Since then I have come across other similar or related projects by other artists which continue to inspire this project, such as:
“Cunts”: Greg Taylor makes sculptures (not casts) of vaginas.
“The Great Wall of Vagina”: Jamie McCartney takes casts of vaginas.
“Heart of the flower”: Andrew Banes and Yvonne Lumsden created a book of vaginas with photos and educational material.”
“Yoni Portraits”: Christina Camphauses’s intimate yoni paintings.
“The Cookie Book“: Maritza Breitenbach presents an anthology of all things vagina in an accessible, non-graphic way.
“Vagina: A new Biography”: Naomi Wolf’s incredible research into the Vagina-Brain connection.
Above all I am inspired by vaginas and their owners! The response so far has been nothing but positive :)
There are two main ways that you can participate in this project, you can do either or both.
1. Vagina Photograph and Message for inclusion in the book.
The photographic part of this project is now completed and closed.
2. Vagina Story for the blog
Please make this a story (or poem etc.) about your own personal experience, rather than opinions about society. I wrote a blog entry on the difference between opinion vs experience here, so you can see my reasoning.
This blog will have a life of it’s own (the life you give it) and will be different to the text which will appear in the book.
So, if you have a vagina story you would like to share please go ahead and email it through. It can be anonymous or you can use a pseudonym or your full name, up to you.
Please email your story to email@example.com.
SHARE SHARE SHARE !
And you can get involved by spreading the good word :) Again there are different ways you can do this:
1. LIKE THE FACEBOOK PAGE: Go to the Facebook page here and like it. Your friends will see that you have liked the project and can then go and have a look at it.
2. SHARE: Hit the “Share” button at the bottom of any of the pages or posts and get it out there ! Perhaps there is a vagina story you really love? Share it :) There are various options for sharing, not just Facebook.
3. TWITTER: Follow @101vagina and feel free to re-tweet 101 Vagina on Twitter
Thanks everyone. If you have any questions just ask ! :)