In our eighth episode of the JUST THREE podcast, host Catherine LaSota talks with artist Jen Lewis, who contributed a chapter to and provided the cover art for the Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies, which was developed by the Menstrual Health and Gender Justice working group at the Center for the Study of Social Difference.
In this conversation, Jen talks about her artistic process in working with photography and menstrual fluid, the problems with how we are socialized about menstruation, and the importance of engaging with other people in building our conversations around social justice issues.
Jen Lewis is the Conceptual Artist and Menstrual Designer behind Beauty in Blood, a bold, transformative macrophotography and video art project that confronts social taboos pertaining to menstruation and the female body. She received her B.A. in the History of Art from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) in 2001. Her work has been displayed in group exhibitions internationally, such as Women at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (United States), Period Pieces at the Urban Artroom (Sweden), the 9th Annual Juried Art Show at The Kinsey Institute (United States) and Art to Change the World at ArtPrize® (United States) and, most recently, the Nasty Women Exhibition at the Knockdown Center in New York City. Her work can also be seen in The Vagina Dispatches video series produced by The Guardian. Jen also curated a special theme exhibit for the joint conference of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research and the Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights entitled “Widening the Cycle: A Menstrual Cycle and Reproductive Justice Art Show” in June 2015. Jen calls the Ann Arbor, Michigan area home.
Learn more about Jen Lewis and her work here:
Find out more about some of Jen's projects and collaborators here:
Access the Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies here.
Learn more about the Menstrual Health & Gender Justice working group here:
Website of the Center for the Study of Social Difference: https://www.socialdifference.columbia.edu/
Music in our podcasts is by Blue Dot Sessions, and episodes are mixed by Craig Eley.
Catherine LaSota, host of the JUST THREE podcast, is Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University.