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P.E.R.I.O.D. at Female Filmmakers Festival Berlin 2022

P.E.R.I.O.D. at Female Filmmakers Festival Berlin 2022

We had the pleasure to be screened at the 4th edition of Female Filmmakers Festival in Berlin on October 9th.

The annual five day film event features screenings of international short & feature films of all genres as well as a hand-picked selection of music videos, panels, networking sessions and more. – we read on Female Filmmakers Festival’s website.

It was a true pleasure to see so many wonderful films created by female filmmakers, meet inspiring people and get amazing feedback from the audience about P.E.R.I.O.D.

Photos below by Suza Schlecht ©

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Back in Berlin, gathering all the memories from wonderful time spent close to nature. I feel like for the first time in my life I connected with nature so much – I used to take the trees, grass, animals around us for granted, moving on to focus on man-made art, architecture and culture. Now I’m going back to the roots.
I’m very happy to be back in Berlin, and very grateful this city is so close to wonderful lakes and forests. And even within the city we have gorgeous parks and green areas.

I feel like I’m starting a new chapter, and very excited that it aligns with being accepted as a part of Women Photograph – worldwide platform for female and non-binary photographers, making it possible to discover the world from a different viewpoint.

According to their data from the first quarter of 2022 New York Times had only 21.7% photographs by women, The Wallstreet Journal 7.2%, Washington Post 19.8% and The Guardian 7.8%. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done and thank you Daniella Zalcman, Mallory Benedict, Sara Ickow, Vi Nguyen and all the Women Photograph Team for making the change happen!

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Toronto International Women’s Film Festival awarded P.E.R.I.O.D. in the category “Best Music Video” in their Summer 2022 edition. The festival is sponsored by Toronto Film Magazine and Toronto Film Channel in Canada.
Women are involved in the film industry in all roles, including as film directors, actresses, cinematographers, film producers, film critics, and other film industry professions, though women have been underrepresented in creative positions. – we read on Toronto Film Magazine Website.

Very happy to present P.E.R.I.O.D. in front of international audience. Hoping it will be seen on many screens around the world!

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

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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.

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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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Showing Midsummer Sisterhood at Rotterdam Photo

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The 2022 edition of Rotterdam Photo Festival was unique – due to COVID-19 regulations the organizers couldn’t have exhibited the works of the participants selected for the 2021 edition, so they decided to combine the 2021 and 2022 editions into one big XL event. Originally planned for February 2022, eventually took place in May, also due to COVID-19 regulations.
For me the most important was that I got a chance to show my project Midsummer Sisterhood in front of the large audience in a printed form for the first time ever.

The theme of 2022 edition: “Human Blueprint” felt perfectly aligned with what I want to say through Midsummer Sisterhood: instead of seeing humanity and nature as opposittes, we should see it as one.
Because I see Midsummer Sisterhood as a dialogue rather than a monologue, it was very important for me to accompany the photos with written statements I got from women who either wanted to participate or eventually did join the photo shoot.

To invite the audience of Rotterdam Photo Festival to join the conversation I put up a wall, where they could answer questions like: “”How do you feel  in your body?”, “Midsummer Sisterhood means to me:”, “Nature and we are…”, “What do you feel when you look at these photos?”

I was truly moved by some of the answers and the conversations I had with the visitors. I decided to share some of them here with you.

Text I wrote to introduce Midsummer Sisterhood to Rotterdam Photo audience:

In summer 2020, after long months of lockdown, I came up with an idea to combine celebrating the summer solstice and womanhood – I called it Midsummer Sisterhood. I put a post on social media that I’m looking for women willing to become a part of the project: pose for photos in a forest near Berlin’s city center, meet other women and have fun together. As founder of Berlin Boudoir, where I show the unfiltered raw beauty of women’s bodies, I could assure them that all ages, sizes and shapes are welcome. No experience in front of the camera was necessary. You just needed to have a black bikini and your body.

The experience and photographic outcome of that photo shoot left me in awe at how female energy, when shared, can transform and empower women. For most of the women it was a turning point in their lives – they told me how they finally stopped being ashamed of the “imperfections” in their bodies, and started celebrating the joy and pleasure our bodies bring.

That’s why I decided to repeat the experience this year, in 2021. As previously, I posted an open call on social media and got an overwhelming amount of responses. I asked in an application survey why women wanted to join. Among the responses I got were: “Because I think this project help us to accept ourselves as we are, as well as create bonds of union between us.” “The idea of connecting woman power with nature power is very exciting for me.”

I feel that we tend to think about human blueprint on the world in a negative way, and rightly so – seeing how we destroyed the natural environment. But I think it’s mostly because we forgot that we and nature are one. And that’s what I’m hoping to achieve with Midsummer Sisterhood.

Photos below by Julia Gat ©

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

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“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.

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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
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