Wednesday, October 9, 2013

News: Women's Prison Installs Walk-In Vagina

You can't make this stuff up, folks. Well, you can, but no one would believe you.

From The Independent.
Walk-in vagina installed in Johannesburg women's prison 

A former women's prison in South Africa which once held Winnie Mandela is now home to a 12m-deep screaming vagina.

by James Legge
Aug. 30, 2013

Visitors are invited to walk through the artwork, by 30-year-old artist Reshma Chhiba, in a reaction against the former symbol of oppression.

As they do, the scarlet walls ring out with screams and laughter.

The "yoni" - the Sanskrit word for vulva, or vagina - is skirted by acrylic wool imitation pubic hair over a tongue-like sponge walkway.

Chhiba said: "It's a screaming vagina within a space that once contained women and stifled women. It's revolting against this space... mocking this space, by laughing at it."

The prison, in the central Johannesburg area of Braamfontein, dates back to 1892, and its Womens' Prison held Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 1958, when she was imprisoned for protesting against apartheid segregation, and again in 1976.

The artist said the work also opposes deeply entrenched patriarchal systems, and taboos around the vagina.

"You don't often hear men talking about their private parts and feeling disgust or shamed," as women often do, she said.

Before walking through, visitors have to remove their shoes.

"By taking off your shoes, essentially you are respecting it, making it a divine space, a sacred space," said Chhiba.

(read more)


  1. UGH. There are better places to install walk-through vaginas. I'm not sure what that place is...oh wait- NOWHERE!

  2. It screams and laughs?!

    I'd advise against walking through it when Aunt Flo is visiting.

  3. I know you're supposed to let art "flow over you" but I'm gonna have to take a knee on this one. Eww.

  4. "By taking off your shoes, essentially you are respecting it, making it a divine space, a sacred space," said Chhiba.

    Um, yeah. So by getting smelly foot sweat and fungus all over it, people are showing their respect. mkay.

    The whole idea is just disturbing.

  5. When you step inside they have someone on a loudspeaker say, "ARE YOU IN YET YET YET??"



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