The Period Power Project is run by women for women. The goal of this project is to raise awareness and educate people on permaculture and Colombian Culture. 100% of the proceeds of this fundraiser will be going towards the purchasing of menstrual cups so that TPPP member, Sofy Mesa can take them to Palomino, Colombia. In Palomino she will hold a gathering open to girls and women where she will educate them on the benefits of the menstrual cup and hand them out.
Menstrual cups would be valuable to the girls and women in this community because they would reduce the amount of waste being produced, reduce the cost of living, encourage sustainability and permaculture, generate safe spaces for girls to discuss their periods and help them to be more in touch with their bodies. The aim is to spread awareness regarding gender inequalities in Palomino, La Guajira, Colombia and in the future, many more places.
Photograph Courtesy of Hayley Elsaesser http://hayleyelsaesser.com
We sat down with member Sofy Mesa to learn more about the project.
Q. Tell me a bit about yourself (name, where you’re from, what you do, what interests you etc.)
A. My name is Sofy Mesa, I was born in Colombia, and I’m a practicing artist in the greater Toronto area. I’m interested in lens based mediums, sound and social action.
Q. What do you think is the most important change that needs to take place in society around menstruation/women's health?
A. I think this event is a great opportunity to remember and acknowledge female energy. Sometimes as a society we forget about female energy because we are so used to seeing masculine energy represented in; our conversations, the media, relationships, events, institutions and so much more. So with that being said, it’s important that women feel safe and confident to speak about their menstruation whether it be around women or men. Society has created all these myths and horror stories written by men with a third party perspective that has impacted the way women feel about their bodies. Education, acceptance, confidence are big steps we need to take in order to make menstruation shamefree. Also, we need to collectively remember how much progress we need to make in order to make feminine hygiene products available for ALL women all over the world.
Q. Tell me about one woman that inspires you that we can check out.
A. My mom is so inspiring to me. She doesn’t have instagram so you guys wont be able to check her out but she is what initiated this project for me. She inspired me to create a job for myself that I love to do and she’s educated me and exposed me to so much alternative ways of being on this earth and introduced me to indigenous practices and their importance today. Also my high school art teacher/mentor Pamila Matharu is insanely smart has been so influential in helping me find a voice and purpose in what I make.
Q. As a creative finding your path, what words of advice do you have for the easy. community?
A. I’ve learned to value my mentors and their love for sharing with me. Some advice I’d give to the easy community is to get outside of yourself and interact with your local environment. We get so caught up with online personas and pixels on a computer screen that we forget about our immediate community – literally the people, objects, situations and problems surrounding us. You don’t have to do the same stuff everyone else is doing or follow trends on Instagram in order to be “successful”. I think about all the reasons I engage in the practice of art-
making and it is because there is no space for people like me – I’ve learned to embrace that and work with it to create my own paradigm.
Q. What is The Period Power Project?
A. The Period Power Project is hopefully the first of many more empowering projects to come. It is run by myself and my four friends including Jacqueline Ashton, Anna Collins, Aurora Shields and Izzy Parrell. This project has the intent of spreading awareness on permaculture, which is the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and selfsufficient. And this project is meant to showcase and educate people on Colombian culture, as well as acknowledge the real issue of the lack of accessibility many women face when it comes to obtaining safe and comfortable feminine hygiene products.
Q. What is going to happen in Palomino, Colombia once you bring the menstrual cups The Period Power Project has fundraised to purchase?
A. I’m going to have a gathering at my mother’s house and invite as many women as I can, depending on how many cups we get. I’m working with Izzy and this really awesome social science professor at my school (OCAD) to build the educational portion of this project. I’m gonna be working with print artists Mary Tremonte who’s going to help me create a small zine to give away to the girls as a custom made manual on how to use the menstrual cup in Spanish. I want to have 2-3 different workshops with the women where we talk about menstruation myths/rituals/beliefs/stories people share around the world and also have time to speak to them one on one to check in with their mental and physical health. Although women there really look out for each other and are bound together by an unbreakable sisterhood, I think it will be really radical to have a gathering solely dedicated to the purpose of female energy – to self care and to themselves. At the end of the workshops, when I hand them the menstrual cup with all the instructions, I will also give them a plant so they can nourish it with their blood and continue to enforce the practices of permaculture. I’m also going to do a series of videos where I talk to them about feminism in their immediate community which I will share on a blog I’m making about the journey of giving the cups that people interested in this project can watch and share.
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