a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
As an artist, poet and developer of sustainable communities for the past 20 years, I have been profoundly aware of the the biggest social and public health problem that has direct impact on Mother Earth and her inhabitants – sexual assault. The rape of women and girls is the longest standing global health pandemic on the planet. In the past 21 years, in the United States alone, some 53 million women have been raped at a cost of $127 trillion to our society.
While the line of correlation is not direct – what we do know is that women’s equity and respect has been diminished in the rape culture that has permeated our globe, and the way that we treat women on the planet often echoes the way we treat nature. More simply stated, the lack of equity always surfaces in various forms of imbalance in society, economics and environment.
For me, bringing both justice and healing to ALL women survivors is the “balance factor” needed in order for Mother Earth to come into balance. This cultural shift is also essential for sustained peace building. More than ever before in history, the “rise of the feminine” actualized through both justice-making and healing is essential for the future of our planet. All genders need ways in which to address these key social and public health issues, so that the acceptable premise of violence against women can shift into an acceptable premise of peace.
#53 Vaginas and Vulvas© (#53VV) is a 53-piece art installation created by artist, author, and violence prevention advocate Georgia M. Reash. Building on the global tide to bring justice to women and girls who have suffered sexual assault and harassment, the installation is intended to weave the beauty of art with the written / spoken word alongside community conversations – in order to create a space for learning, solidarity, and healing. The installation serves as an honorarium to the 53 million (plus) U.S. women who have experienced sexual assault or rape since 2001.
#53VV is a tasteful presentation of abstract and contemporary art interpretations of women’s genitalia. Each painting offers a savory meaning with intriguing titles and subtitles, inclusive of slang and uncommon terminology. The colorful paintings are depicted in a flavorful food motif, creating a sensual event that invites smiles, laughter, and learning. The unique ‘edible’ vagina-art is intended to raise awareness around the largest and longest standing public health pandemic in the world – the sexual assault of women.
Using creativity and facilitated community engagement, #53VV provides a one-of-a-kind “healing-arts placemaking event” that harnesses the power of visual art, the written / spoken word and education into a powerful art experience. Feast on the beauty of every delicate morsel and bring honor to those who have survived!
Georgia M. Reash is a multi-media creative living in Northeast Ohio (USA). Over the past 20 years, her emergence as author, playwright, painter, poet and storyteller was inspired by her personal healing and transformation journey. Georgia uses the power of visual art and the written and spoken word to help people and communities excavate strength, potential and creativity. Her most recent art installation, #53 Vaginas and Vulvas (2020), builds on themes of women’s empowerment and healing, offering a unique and inviting approach to healing after sexual assault and community trauma healing. The paintings were created in honor of 53 million U.S. women who have been sexually assaulted since 2000. Her writing career spans a lifetime as a poet, short story writer and playwright. Her first play, Journey of the Hummingbird Minister© (2006), features a dramatic phoenix rising story of healing from Complex PTSD.