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Call for Entries: Widening the Cycle – A Menstruation & Reproductive Justice Art Show

Published July 7, 2014

Event Co-Sponsors, the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research (SMCR) and the Center for Women’s Health & Human Rights (CWHHR), seek visual art to enrich and further strengthen the multidisciplinary focus of the upcoming conference Menstrual Health and Reproductive Justice: Human Rights across the Lifespan. Art has the ability to challenge society’s deepest assumptions by sparking new ideas, catalyzing critical thinking, and inspiring individuals to take steps in new directions that facilitate social change. “Widening the Cycle” will explore visual art’s ability to alter social perceptions and reactions to menstruation with a particular interest in art created using menstrual fluid.

Some possible menstrual connections for creative exploration:
• Shame, Secrecy & Silence
• Popular Culture
• Social Media
• Consumerism
• Identity & Meaning Making
• Hormone Therapies & Birth Control
• Reproductive Aging
• Trauma
• Humor
• LGBTQ Issues / Queer Studies
• Race Issues
• Cancer & Other Diseases
• Disability Issues
• Native / Indigenous Studies
• Humanitarian Emergencies
• Sexuality
• Fertility
• Body Issues

Untitled #23 | Conceptual Designer & Menstrual Artist: Jen Lewis | Photographer: Rob Lewis

Untitled #23 | Conceptual Designer & Menstrual Artist: Jen Lewis | Photographer: Rob Lewis

About Menstrual Health, Reproductive Justice and Human Rights
Menstrual-ovulatory health is central to women’s ability to lead lives of dignity and health in every society in every part of the world. In fact, menstrual-ovulatory health and menstrual education are the foundations for more widely acknowledged reproductive rights, such as the right to plan the number and spacing of our children, the right to sex education, and the right to sexual autonomy and pleasure. Menstrual health and menstrual education also facilitate other women’s rights globally, such as the right to education. Without menstrual-ovulatory health in place for all women, other women’s rights remain in jeopardy. Yet menstrual health is rarely recognized or theorized as a reproductive justice issue. Nor is it often respected, protected, or fulfilled as a human right.

The Reproductive Justice framework analyzes how the ability of any woman to determine her own reproductive destiny is linked directly to the conditions in her community – and these conditions are not just a matter of individual choice and access. Reproductive Justice addresses the social reality of inequality, specifically, the inequality of opportunities that we have to control our reproductive destiny. Our options for making choices have to be safe, affordable and accessible, three minimal cornerstones of government support for all individual life decisions.
When those interested in the menstrual cycle use reproductive justice and human rights frames, we see more clearly the social and institutional structures that constrain women’s and girls’ fundamental right to self-determination and bodily integrity. When reproductive justice advocates include menstrual health in visions of social justice, we create a fuller picture of, and more effective strategies for, women’s empowerment and well being across the lifespan.
About the Sponsors
Founded in 1979, the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research (SMCR) is an interdisciplinary group of researchers, health care providers, policy makers, and students who share an interest in women’s lives and health needs as they are related to the menstrual cycle. Founded in 2003, the Center for Women’s Health & Human Rights (CWHHR) is the first academic institute in the United States to focus on women’s health and human rights in the social sciences, arts and humanities, and public policy.

Eligibility Criteria
We seek broad interpretations of this call from a wide variety of multicultural perspectives and personal experiences. This call for art is open to all self-defining female artists and collaborations comprised of at least 50% female membership working in 2D art of all media (collage, cross-stitch, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, etc.) with a special interest in art created using menstrual fluid. Complete works must be finished (dry, no wet paint), framed and no larger than 36 inches wide by 42 inches high (36” x 42”) in size.

Submission Deadline: November 1, 2014.
For additional submission guidelines visit:

For more information, contact Jen Lewis at