We (Cayla Skillin-Brauchle and Danielle C. Wyckoff) have come together to birth Reproductive Media, a project that focuses on all things family, gender, sex, and reproduction. Iterations of Reproductive Media have included a Mobile Zine Library and performative actions and workshops in which we facilitate discussions on these themes. The Reproductive Media Zine Library’s collection includes dozens of contributors who have produced zines related to these topics, ranging from personal experiences to statistics and facts. Our curatorial vision for this library is inclusive: we encourage individuals to share diverse information, experiences, and interpretations. This collection is an ongoing and ever-growing library.
Part of Reproductive Media’s larger mission is to provide educational and advocacy materials and support. Current resources we have produced as free booklets include ways to advocate for family-friendly* workplaces, suggestions for creating more inclusive educational settings, and other tools to advocate for legislative change such as ones that would support families for medical leave. (*We recognize an inclusive definition of family and remember that people receive love and support from partners, elders, children, siblings, lovers, pets, friends, and more.)
Reproductive Media stems from our shared investment in discussion and because our individual artistic practices utilize conversation and crowdsourcing as a tactic to research and create projects. Wyckoff’s project, “Please Tell Me a Story About Love,” has traveled around the world asking folks to do just that. The project’s open-ended structure situates the artist as listener, hearing and recording stories about all forms of love. Skillin-Brauchle’s “Data Collection” performances seek to create local data sets by interviewing community members in public places. While disparate in their approaches, these projects act as non-judgemental agents, recorders of contemporary experience. Our projects focus on the ‘local,’ whether that be a site or a community, and both projects collect responses that fuel our individual artwork in other material forms.
We believe that critical discussions require space. Reproductive Media creates such a space, one that is a public yet private forum, to talk about all things family, sex, gender, and reproduction: the choice to parent or not; the experiences of non-binary lives; governmental policy that is restrictive and policy that is protective; the challenges and rewards of parenting; experiences of becoming a parent through adoption, foster care, birth, or other paths; LBGQTIA+ rights; infertility and the emotional, physical and financial implications; miscarriage and fetal loss; birth control; abortion; models of prenatal care and giving birth (medical model and midwifery model); reproductive rights; reproductive privilege based on identity and socio-economics; sex; babies; gender; consent.
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