I‘m super excited and honored to be featured in Polish nation-wide magazine Wysokie Obcasy with the P.E.R.I.O.D. music video! Wonderful journalist Paula Szewczyk interviewed me and wrote the article, summing up the ideas behind it. Thw whole article in my translation follows:
She came up with the idea to contrast the non-glamorous sanitary napkins with the aesthetics of jewelry or sexy lingerie advertisements. Monika Kozub recorded “Period” with the slogan “period is not a luxury” in mind.
“First PMS, then the pain and stress. Where’s my money, where’s respect for the flow that you reject? It’s time to progress” raps a woman sitting on a toilet, her panites down at her ankles with a bloody panty liner. It’s the main character of the music video “Period” created by the artist Monika Kozub and her partner Daniel S. Roden, to “celebrate menstruation and fight menstrual poverty”.
The first inspiration for the video came to Monika, a Polish woman, who had been living in Berlin for several years, when she started to use a menstrual cup and she fell in love with it.
– It’s a completely different experience than tampons and pads. Looking at this small container with fresh, red blood, I wanted to take pictures of it instantly – she tells us in an interview.
Second inspiration came when she realized that the photos used to illustrate texts about menstruation are usually showing perfectly white, clean pads that have nothing to do with reality. – A tampon covered in red glitter or a red melting popsickle are nice metaphors, but still only metaphors. I wanted to show the truth about the period in my pictures.
After all, we all know or we can pretty much guess what menstruation really looks like.
The artist, influenced by an earlier collaboration with Berlin-based NGO Social Period, which fights menstrual poverty and educates about the economic struggles of menstruating people, decided to record “Period”.
– I came up with the idea to contrast the image of sanitary pads, which are neither sexy nor glamorous, with the aesthetics of vintage jewelry and sexy lingerie ads. Contrary to the slogan that “the period is not luxurious”.
Monika Kozub and Daniel S. Roden decided to record a rap song, as it was the first music genre that came to their mind when thinking about a musical way to protest. In addition, in their opinion, rap with its counter-culturalism and anger is ideally suited to the topic, as a way to shout out freely what bothers you.
“If the blood were gold, we’d rule the world” – sing the women in the video. We also see a woman with her fingers covered in blood in the sign of victory, and then pointing to a pad she holds in the other hand asking: “You think this shit’s free?!”
There is also a bathtub full of white foam with distinct red stains, or a jar filled with jam, resembling blood, with which the rapper smears her lips and the skin around them.
– Was I worried about the accusation that the material was “tasteless”? No, because it’s visually appealing, and the text that accompanies it fits well with the video. The viewer gets hit in the face with the images related to menstruation, but it’s important to remember that only because we menstruate humanity still exists. I would like us to stop frowning at the thought of period and stop embarrassing menstruating people or saying what “can” and “should” be shown about them.
In addition according to Monika Kozub, a negative reaction to the clip will say more about the viewer than the video.
– Many times I have heard an argument in conversations about periods that everyone defecates, but it doesn’t mean that you have to show people smearing each other’s poop. Except that defecation is not a process by which babies are born, even though culture considers both – menstruation and defecation – equally dirty. The menstrual blood is clean, it’s exactly the same as the blood from wounds we see in the movies, and yet somehow only menstrual blood is considered disgusting.
The creators worked on “Period” for over a year. Together, they prepared the text, music and photos. Kozub has covered the cost of the costumes for the video as well as the decorations out of her own pocket. Now she would like the film to become a period manifesto for everyone who has a menstrual flow.