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We’re the granddaughters of the witches you weren’t able to burn

We’re the granddaughters of the witches you weren’t able to burn

On Friday June 24 2022 the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, the landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion.

I’m reading a wonderful book by Silvia Federici Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women. She writes: “the restriction of women’s sexuality to marriage and procreation, together with wifely unconditional obedience, was instituted in every country – regardless of its religious creed – as the pillar of social morality and political stability. And, indeed, of no crime were ‘witches’ as frequently accused as ‘lewd behavior’, generally associated with infanticide and inherent hostility to the reproduction of life.”

We’re going to fight, you can’t burn us all 🔥

Selected Among 50 Brave of 2021 by Wysokie Obcasy Magazine

Dream come true thanks to Wysokie Obcasy and Katarzyna Seiler – to be among 50 Brave of 2021 makes me proud, honored and humbled. So many wonderful women and people, changing the world for better! I’m happy I can add my piece with Berlin Boudoir...
curated_by_girls_period

P.E.R.I.O.D. featured in Curated by Girls!

So happy that Curated by Girls featured P.E.R.I.O.D. music video on their site!"P.E.R.I.O.D is an art video by Berlin Boudoir, celebrating that time of the month, with a mission to draw attention to period poverty; a lack of access to menstrual...
Eva featured

Eva, February 2019

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P.E.R.I.O.D. in Wysokie Obcasy magazine!

P.E.R.I.O.D. in Wysokie Obcasy magazine!

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.

period_wysokie_obcasy

P.E.R.I.O.D. in Wysokie Obcasy magazine!

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...
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Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

From a young age, women are taught to mistrust their self-esteem. There are countless ways that society accomplishes this goal but the main offender is the beauty industry. The message from these images is clear: "You should not love yourself...

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Dream come true thanks to Wysokie Obcasy and Katarzyna Seiler – to be among 50 Brave of 2021 makes me proud, honored and humbled. So many wonderful women and people, changing the world for better! I’m happy I can add my piece with Berlin Boudoir...
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Easy DIY Home SPA – With Recipes for Home-Made Cosmetics

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International Menstrual Hygiene Day 2022

International Menstrual Hygiene Day 2022

May 28th is Menstrual Hygiene Day, but I would rename it to Menstrual Celebration Day. We should do what we can to start a public discussion on how to end period stigma and period poverty.

🔴 What you can do to help?

🔴 Watch our music video PERIOD and share with anyone you know – we intended it to be an easy way to start a discussion on that topic.

🔴 Share the stats below on your social media (yes, feel free to repost and tag me) – people should know what period poverty means and how it affects people who menstruate.

🔴 Try to talk openly about your period or periods of people around you – there’s no reason to keep the shame and taboo around menstruation, and the change can start from you.

🔴 If you can donate to organizations that help with period poverty.

All stats according to Days for Girls, Thinx , Period.org and BYU.

Globally 3.5 billion people menstruate
Over 500 million, nearly 25% of all menstruators, experience period poverty
Period poverty means you don't have access to menstrual hygiene products
1 in 5 teenagers in the US have struggled to afford period products. Period poverty happens everywhere.
 If a person was to use a tampon every 6h and 4 tampons are used per day of menstruation, that would equal to 20 tampons for every 5-day menstrual cycle, totaling 9,120 tampons in their life. If a box of tampons costs $7 and there are 36 tampons in a box, the cost for a lifetime would equal to $1,733.33.
With pads the lifetime cost of using 3-5 pads  per day of menstruation would sum up to $4,752.
On top of that there is also “pink tax” on menstrual hygiene products - a price discrepancy in which services and products marketed to women cost more than identical products or services marketed to men. 30 out of the 50 US states have that pink tax.
share & let’s  #endperiodpoverty together
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Dear Body – Alena, January 2019

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Eva, February 2019

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Thais, February 2019

Amazing Thais, Brazilian Berlinerin, mother of two, architect.Thais brought this swimsuit (photo below) to the boudoir shoot and wasn't sure if it's going to work. She said that since she became a mother she no longer feels appropriate wearing it...

Selected Among 50 Brave of 2021 by Wysokie Obcasy Magazine

Dream come true thanks to Wysokie Obcasy and Katarzyna Seiler – to be among 50 Brave of 2021 makes me proud, honored and humbled. So many wonderful women and people, changing the world for better! I’m happy I can add my piece with Berlin Boudoir...

Two Years After the First Bloody Victory Photo

Two Years After the First Bloody Victory Photo

It’s been two years since I took this photo and published it online to download for free on Unsplash.

There were some victories on the way that I haven’t predicted: Scotland making period products available for free, Spain thinking of introducing period leave, more and more people being aware of period poverty around the world and many great initiatives to fight it. And yet, as a great caption by @mycommalife reminded me: still image of menstrual blood is seen as shocking and shameful, even though we’re so used to seeing violence and blood spilled on the screen. I checked Unsplash and my photos are still the only ones that actually depict blood, don’t beat around the bush with pretty yet not entirely honest pictures of melting pop sickle or a tampon covered in red glitter. For better if for worse – periods don’t have glitter, just honest beauty of this force of life.

Eva featured

Eva, February 2019

There’s no better feeling than when you read something like that:“Shout our to my friend Monika @berlinboudoir for making women like me feel BEAUTIFUL!⠀I never thought there was something wrong with my body. It’s a body, it’s the body that made me...
Hana sitting and drinking coffee

Dear Body – Hana, Feb 2019

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P.E.R.I.O.D. featured in Curated by Girls!

So happy that Curated by Girls featured P.E.R.I.O.D. music video on their site!"P.E.R.I.O.D is an art video by Berlin Boudoir, celebrating that time of the month, with a mission to draw attention to period poverty; a lack of access to menstrual...
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P.E.R.I.O.D. featured in Curated by Girls!

P.E.R.I.O.D. featured in Curated by Girls!

“P.E.R.I.O.D is an art video by Berlin Boudoir, celebrating that time of the month, with a mission to draw attention to period poverty; a lack of access to menstrual products, which affects many individuals who menstruate globally, causing physical, mental, and emotional issues.” – wrote Laetitia Duveau, the author as well as the founderand editor-in-chief of Curated by Girls.

The online portal as well as social media outlet is known for promoting diversity & equality. On Instagram they have a community of almost 200k followers!

Very excited to have reached such an audience! Thank you Laetitia for the feature.

Thais featured

Thais, February 2019

Amazing Thais, Brazilian Berlinerin, mother of two, architect.Thais brought this swimsuit (photo below) to the boudoir shoot and wasn't sure if it's going to work. She said that since she became a mother she no longer feels appropriate wearing it...

P.E.R.I.O.D. music video is live!

After over a year of preparations - it's live! Watch the video and listen to the song on Spotify/Apple Music. Share with friends and family, let’s #endperiodpoverty together ♥️🩸 The whole PERIOD story started from me reading a book by Emma Barnett...
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From a young age, women are taught to mistrust their self-esteem. There are countless ways that society accomplishes this goal but the main offender is the beauty industry. The message from these images is clear: "You should not love yourself...
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International Menstrual Hygiene Day 2022

May 28th is Menstrual Hygiene Day, but I would rename it to Menstrual Celebration Day. We should do what we can to start a public discussion on how to end period stigma and period poverty. 🔴 What you can do to help? 🔴 Watch our music video PERIOD...
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Adi, January 2019

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curated_by_girls_period

P.E.R.I.O.D. featured in Curated by Girls!

So happy that Curated by Girls featured P.E.R.I.O.D. music video on their site!"P.E.R.I.O.D is an art video by Berlin Boudoir, celebrating that time of the month, with a mission to draw attention to period poverty; a lack of access to menstrual...

P.E.R.I.O.D. music video is live!

P.E.R.I.O.D. music video is live!

After over a year of preparations – it’s live! Watch the video and listen to the song on Spotify/Apple Music. Share with friends and family, let’s #endperiodpoverty together ♥️🩸

The whole PERIOD story started from me reading a book by Emma Barnett and how she encouraged the readers in one of the chapters to create their own menstrual hygiene products ad. I felt challenged 💪

I talked about it with my partner, Daniel S. Roden and we decided that we don’t want to make an ad, we want to make a rap song about menstruation and then a music video to it 🙌 The visuals for the video started off as a continuation of the the visuals I created for Social Period ♥️ I felt inspired to turn them into a story told in a film, not just through still images.

I took on many roles in this video: I tried rapping for the first time, acting, directing and producing! But the video wouldn’t have been created without the wonderful help and talent of all people involved!

Cast:

Director: Monika Kozub

Music: D1, Daniel S. Roden, Monika Kozub Cinematographer: Borbala Szelei

Costume Designer: Camila Miranda

Set Designer: Orsi Orban

Producer: Monika Kozub

Production Assistant: Eva Casini, Tatiana Alluci

Starring: Monika Kozub, Anagha, Auristella, Dotti Moscati, Emilia Gisele, Lady Bona, Zozo

Special thanks to: Moons and Junes, Einhorn Berlin, J. Ray, Chris Bucanac 

period_music_video_01
period_music_video_02
period_music_video_03
period_music_video_04
period_music_video_05
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Why I started photographing menstrual blood

It was a long and cold lockdown winter in Berlin.

Above photo I uploaded to Unsplash and you can use it for free for your project (please credit me if you do!) – you can see it here

I was very very hungry for photo shoots, but it was simply not possible due to COVID restrictions.

I photograph with natural light – big windows and high ceilings are my favorite. And you can get that in Berlin, but my cozy yet dark apartment on the ground floor is not one of them. I presumed I would never be able to take any photos at home, and I made peace with it. But then the lockdown came and I simply couldn’t wait any longer.

At the same time I tried switching from pads to menstrual cup for the first time, and I fell in love with this method of collecting menstrual blood. What I was mostly amazed by was the wonderful red color of blood I collected – so fresh and pure, just like paint.

As I was reading and researching on the topic of menstruation, it made me curious to see what stock photos are available regarding periods. I went on Unsplash – platform where anyone can upload their photos to be used as stock photos for free. I typed in “menstruation” and I saw images of a melting red popsickle, a tampon with red glitter on it. As you can imagine – nothing actually representing menstrual blood was available.

So I decided to create a series of photos with my menstrual blood and upload them to Unsplash. That way anyone, even without money to pay for stock photos, will be able to use images that depict menstruation as it is, without glitter on top.

menstrual blood on bathroom floor

The one you see as a cover photo – my hand with fingers covered in menstrual blood (yes! I don’t use fake blood) in victory sign, became very popular when Scotland announced that menstrual hygiene products will be available for free.

It made me very proud and happy that I could have provided a visual representation of the feeling so many of us had – that menstruation has to stop beeing a taboo and there’s no place for period poverty.

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