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Authors

Tina Escaja

Abstract

The subject of menstruation is filled with powerful socio-cultural implications involving language, religion and gender relations. Yet, the topic is often relegated to silence, considered taboo, and strongly associated with impurity and shame. This schism between the natural reality of menstruation and its socio-cultural damnation highlights the marginal and oppressed condition of women who are considered inferior and impure in many cultures and religions for the mere fact of menstruating, despite ancient practices that validated and celebrated women’s menarche. The multimedia project 13 lunas 13/13 moons 13 allows for the interactive exploration of these themes while reflecting upon the patriarchal foundations of the taboo of menstruation. This essay examines primarily the video 13 lunas 13, a video of testimonies by thirteen Spanish women form different generations and social backgrounds. Fear, shame, lack of sexual agency, are some of the common experiences expressed by the women interviewed, particularly among older generations. Along with these testimonies on sexuality and menstruation, this project seeks to collect and reveal euphemisms, myths and cultural practices that are being erased by global practices, while pointing to new technologies and attitudes towards menstruation. Other variables of this project include art installations, poetry, and an interface that allows the collection of testimonies via the Internet, reaching out to new generations of men and women wishing to expose an experience intrinsically related to their lives.

Streaming Media

Note on the Author

Tina Escaja is a destructivist/a cyber-poet@, digital artist and scholar based in Burlington, Vermont. As a literary critic, she has published extensively on gender and contemporary Latin American and Spanish poetry and technology. Her creative work transcends the traditional book form, leaping into digital art, robotics, augmented reality and multimedia projects exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. Escaja has received numerous recognitions and awards, and her work has been translated into six languages. She is Director of the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program at the University of Vermont, and is currently president of Feministas Unidas, Inc.

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