Wonder Women Part 2

Given it’s International Women’s Day today, what more fitting time to discuss Wonder Women, specifically Synthesis at Texture on Saturday 4th March.

Unfortunately, I missed the first hour of the event so I missed the videos that were played to kick start the event.  But,I didn’t miss all of the incredible other exhibitions on offer.  As well as the Vashrina by Tessa and Sarah Anaïs which I made a plaster cast contribution to a few weeks before, there were:
– Stop the Taboo. Period by Liv
– Bodies of Manchester by Elle and Bea
– Abortion by Esther

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Obviously I was most excited about seeing the Vashrina in all of its finished glory! From the outside, it was a 7 foot fabric vagina.  Climb in through the labia and you enter into a cosy, candlelit vulva.  On a table in front, all of the casts were laid out to display their simplicity, elegance, individuality and beauty.  On top was a bowl of positive affirmations all on red ribbons, almost like a bowl of feminist fortune cookies.  Mine?

Comparison is the thief of all joy

Much like a religious shrine, the space inside the giant vulva created a quiet, peaceful, private place to reflect on the affirmation received and the event as a whole.

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As well the art and photography exhibitions, the Synthesis; Wonder Women event also included  a talk given by Lauren Coleman, who founded the ‘Free to be OK with me’ Body Positive Community on Facebook.  This is a group who support, champion and challenge societies norms on body image and women as a whole.  Lauren discussed the drives and aims of the group, the current big issues on the timeline (namely local clothing mogul Boohoo) and where it is headed in the future.  This was followed by an introduction to a fantastic local campaign called Monthly Gift who collect donations of women’s sanitary products and distribute them to those in need, as well as raising awareness of the limited access to sanitary care some women experience.  Throughout, a power point presentation streamed with photos, poems and quotes from members of the various groups involved giving their views on the subjects raised; a continual message of how many women these issues affect.

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The whole Wonder Women event, I found incredibly moving and overwhelming.  To be a part of something so powerful, with so many inspiring, strong women is a complete honour.  There was such a tremendous sense of solidarity – a room full of women, all  fighting with the same voice for the same causes.  Seeing so many friends involved in the various different parts was an extremely empowering and proud moment, knowing I’m in a group of such wonderful women.

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The same event is happening again this Saturday at Islington Mill as part of Ladyfest so if you missed out last weekend, be sure not to miss it this time!

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