The four of us first collaborated in March of 2019 at the Tate Exchange: Beta Society, a week long event led by The Digital Maker Collective (a UAL-based group). We ran talks and workshops with CRIN, and explored ideas with the public for making society a better, fairer place. During this event, Basma Osman (from CRIN) and Safiya gave a talk on period poverty, and shared a story about a girl who died inside the Chhaupadi (menstrual hut) from smoke inhalation after lighting a fire to keep herself warm. Our heartache and outrage towards this incident lingered long after the event.
This experience left us with many questions. Why is menstrual blood seen as dirty even though none of us will be here without it? Why isn’t PMS seen as serious? Why is menstrual and reproductive health not taught at some schools when it's such an important aspect of life? Why do we still hide our unopened pads and tampons? Menstruation has to be normalised, and it should’ve been centuries ago!
So when CRIN approached us for the fellowship, we decided to undertake the Red Cloud Project, a campaign project consisting of an education book on menstruation, this website guide and an information- giving printing machine, in hopes to tackle period poverty and stigma.
Rights Studio Fellowship
This project was developed as the first Fellowship of the Rights Studio, a new creative initiative by CRIN. The Fellowship seeks to support young artists to explore art for human and children's rights activism.
It was piloted in 2019 with four BA Graphic Design alumni from UAL Camberwell College of Arts: Safiya Ahmed, Bristy Azmi, Maria Than, and Anna Tsuda.
Our aim is to increase accessibility of information, encourage conversation, and empower our readers through contents such as, but not limited to, reflective exercises, crowd- sourced stories, and religious leader and activist interviews. We see ourselves as messengers that raise awareness on the issue of period poverty and stigma.
We really hope this book will be useful and inspirational for your journey and experience with your period! We also encourage you to share your thoughts with your friends and family.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you want to have a chat :)
From your Big Sisters
Although we have done research within the health field and have cross-referenced our content with certified doctors, gynaecologists, and health specialists, please do not use this book as a replacement for medical advice. It has been written to complement existing medical literature, papers, information, and advice, which we recommend you seek directly. This is a general book which we encourage to be used as a conversational and reflective tool for readers.
How to Use the Guide
This guide doesn’t follow a linear narrative, but an information platform which you can browse through whenever you want to know something. We have divided the book in to three levels based on age-appropriate information.
Age 11 & Above
Introduces the topic of puberty, what to expect when you start menstruating and the different period products out there. Topics included in this level are suitable for children between the ages of 11 to 13 years old.
Age 14 & Above
Further explores the science and biology of menstruation, the stages/ phases and things like PMS and PMSDD. These topics are deemed suitable for the ages of 14 to 16 years old.
Age 17 & Above
Deals with more mature content like female genital mutilation, period poverty and menopause. These are topics that would be more appropriate for an audience of 17 years old and above.
Dear guardians and teachers,
We thank you for using this website to help children learn about the intricate mysteries of menstruation. For ease of use, this book is divided and colour-coded into three levels to introduce topics at age-appropriate stages.
All information in this website has been peer-reviewed by experts including doctors, gynaecologists, social workers, teachers, and NGOs to provide the most factual information. Along with these informative materials, the website includes many activities to encourage reflection and proactive thinking.
Although menstruation might be an uncomfortable topic for many, it is essential to talk about this topic to tackle period poverty and stigma. The website introduces various collaborative activities that you can take part with the children to start conversations about periods and share your feelings! It is important to do these activities in a space and with people your child will feel safe and comfortable.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments!
From the authors
This is also a book!
What you’re seeing here is the website version of what started as a book! If you would like access to the full PDF book, feel free to download it below.