The world’s first bricks and mortar vagina museum is set to open in London later this year – but it needs to raise £300,000 first.
Founder Florence Schechter launched a crowdfunding campaign on Friday urging the public to make donations that will go towards organising exhibitions, comedy nights and performers at the innovative cultural site.
The Vagina Museum first launched as a pop-up project in March 2017. Schechter hopes a permanent physical site – she has been offered a space in Camden Market – will focus on removing the stigma that surrounds discussions of vaginas while highlighting other important issues affecting women such as consent, body image and intersectionality.
While there is currently a virtual vagina museum in Austria, this would be the first physical museum dedicated to female genitalia.
“The Vagina Museum is so important because this area of the body is so stigmatised and this has real world consequences like people being too embarrassed to get their cervical smear,” says Schechter.
“Our top priority is to fight the taboo that surrounds our bodies and provide a place where we can have an open and honest conversation.”
Schechter added that the museum will also host an outreach programme in which she hopes to work with sex and relationships educators and medical professionals to provide better services and support to transgender and intersex communities.
Dr Alison Wright, vice president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, praised the museum as a “huge asset” in terms of progressing conversations surrounding women’s health.
Meanwhile, leader of Camden Council Georgia Gould said she was “incredibly excited” about the prospect of hosting the museum in Camden.
“Camden has a proud and radical history of challenging prejudice and orthodoxy, however, we acknowledge that the stigma associated with talking about gynaecological health has meant ignorance, confusion, shame, and poor medical care for too many,” she said.
“We are therefore incredibly excited that the Vagina Museum is seeking to establish in Camden, and hope that it is funded to provide an inclusive and intersectional centre for learning, creativity, activism and outreach that will add immeasurably to our collective understanding of our bodies.”
You can read more about The Vagina Museum and donate to its crowdfunding campaign here.
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