Laia Abril, PMS, aus der Serie: Menstruation Myths, 2018-2021 © Laia Abril, Courtesy: Les Filles du Calvaire, Paris
People who menstruate will spend an average of 1,800 days of their lives on their period. As it is perceived as unclean and taboo, the misconceptions across cultures keep people isolated; confused about what happens to them; silenced or even afraid to attend school. In some parts of the world, those menstruating are forbidden from cooking or eating certain foods; and they are barred from touching water, praying, moving freely, having sex, or sleeping in their own beds. While the secrecy around men- struation affects social, economic, and cultural posi- tion, there are also direct physical consequences. Extreme pain, debilitating symptoms with non-identifiable causes, and understudied gynaecological diseases. Might the very lack of understanding be perpetuating the suffering experienced by women?
Menstruation Myths explores these cycles of thought, creating a non-fixed and open-ended narrative that forms part of Laia Abril’s larger body of work, A History of Misogyny. With this series, Abril questions what it means to be a woman within a society that ignores the menstrual calendar. The chapter explores myths and its cultural origins, alongside contemporary data and its consequences. Displaying both the research and the visual metaphors, the installation weaves a greater comprehension around the politics of pain and the repercussions of miseducation and silence.