BRAZIL GIVES US ANOTHER WAY TO TALK ABOUT ABORTION, WITH NEW GIANT HILLSIDE VAGINA SCULPTURE
So how do we talk about what’s happening with abortion? Sure, it’s complicated. But it’s also really simple. You’re either supportive of a woman’s right to choose, or you are not. But with the recent Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v Wade, we’re all going to keep talking about it for some time, ad nauseum. As we should. But it’s interesting to note that the US now compares with Iran with cracking down on abortion rights. Or, controlling women’s bodies in a legal sense. And yes, that is extreme, yet completely true. So let’s now talk about the other side of the coin, in Brazil. Brazil voted last December to legalize abortion, at last. And this giant hillside sculpture of a vagina should keep us all talking.
NEW GIANT HILLSIDE VAGINA SCULPTURE, DIVA, THE LATEST WORK OF ARTIST JULIANA NOTARI
The artist Juliana Notari calls her latest work, Diva. The sculpture of the giant hillside vagina measures 108 feet tall, and took over 20 people to install at its location on a Pernambuco hillside. Diva represents a pivotal moment in Brazilian history and politics, as their current leader Bolsonaro was completely against legalizing abortion. Part of his bitter tweet response included, “I deeply lament for the lives of Argentinian children, now subject to being cut in their mothers’ wombs with the consent of the State.” That says a lot, doesn’t it? “Consent of the state” really means: men. Men in power. Men in power dictating how women live their lives.
GIANT HILLSIDE VAGINA IS HARD TO MISS, AS IS WHO WANTS TO CONTROL WOMEN’S BODIES AND LIVES
That is certainly more honest than the dialogue that we have in the United States, isn’t it? Sure, fringe activists say that all the time. Some politicians, too. And while Bolsonaro’s comments included “protecting the innocent” as American politicians also do, it’s the State whose power has to control women. But in the US, we’re told not to worry, Roe v Wade is established law. Our supreme court justices lied in their confirmation hearings saying they wouldn’t overturn it. They’ve said the same things about gay marriage and a host of other things, too. But this giant hillside vagina in Pernambuco, Brazil, could be a rallying icon to feminine power. Over their own bodies, at a minimum.
Ironically, the artist Notari says her work is actually about gender issues generally, and how we need to change our relationships with each other and with nature to survive. Considering how she has to live in Brazil, I get her message loud and clear. Hopefully, enough Americans will, too.