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Summary by Interarts

BIRTH CULTURES is a project co-funded by the European Union under the Creative Europe Culture Programme (2014-2020) that contributes to preserve and transmit, through arts and culture, birth and maternity traditional knowledge and practices as part of European intangible cultural heritage. The project is implemented by Interarts (coordinator, Spain) in cooperation with Frauenmuseum Hittisau (Austria), Frauenmuseum Merano (Italy), Gender Museum (Kharkiv) and in association with the International Association of Women’s Museums (IAWM) (Italy), the European Centre for Cultural Organization and Managment (ECCOM) (Italy) and Birth Café Campaign (Germany), as associated partners.

The project will run from November 2019 to April 2022.

According to the German associations’ Birth Café Campaign and Hebammen für Deutschland  (Midwives for Germany), when it comes to pregnancy and birth the existing lack of instruments, such as historical research and exhibitions, does not enable for these topics to become accessible to different publics and audiences.

Against this background, BIRTH CULTURES has the following specific objectives:

  • To strengthen capacities of and collaboration between women’s museums in Europe to raise awareness on women’s health and sexual and reproductive rights.
  • To enhance intercultural dialogue and artistic co-creation around values and practices related to culture, birth and maternity.
  • To improve access, including young people and migrants, to European cultural and creative works and intangible cultural heritage.

The project is based on the acknowledgment that socially engaged art represents an effective way of processing, explaining and promoting topics of particular social value but also of engaging audiences through a participative approach. By sharing and providing information or topics of discussion, it will foster a deeper understanding of the issues tackled and of the necessary emotional intelligence to process them. The project aims to achieve this by developing the following activities:

  • Research on practices and traditions related to birth and maternity in the participating countries;
  • Organisation of intercultural and intergenerational Birth cafés to gather information, knowledge, stories;
  • Workshops for co-creation of cultural and art products around the topics of birth and maternity;
  • 8 round tables/seminars/meetings on the topic of birth and maternity and their relations with art and culture;
  • 1 international conference;
  • 1 travelling exhibition on the topic of birth and maternity by the participating women’s museums and a call for creative works (paintings, videos, photos, etc.);
  • Digital catalogue of the exhibition;
  • 4 toolkits for secondary schools adapted to local context and values and in the local languages (German, Italian, Spanish/Catalan and Ukrainian).

Duration of the project: 30 months.

Consortium:

For further information, please click on the following link.

Here Stefania Pitscheider-Soraperra, director of the Women’s Museum Hittisau, explains the progress of the exhibition and what it is going to look like.

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The exhibition “Ausgekocht?” of the Museum “Women’s Culture Regional – International” in Fürth is currently exhibited as a temporary exhibition at the Women’s Museum in Meran until 30th November 2019.

Gudrun Cyprian and Gaby Franger

‘Ausgekocht?’ – Reflections on the Global Food System and the Role of Women through the Exhibition of the Museum `Women’s Culture Regional – International`

 The exhibition “Ausgekocht”[1] presents central contradictions in cooking and eating worldwide. The social processes of cooking and eating cause negotiations and change. Obvious are adjustments of gender roles, be it in agriculture or the automation of kitchen work, and economic and cultural change. With installations, art, stories of women and the discussion of contentious issues, the exhibition aims at showing what these global processes mean for women and their families, and which strategies women are developing in their everyday lives to confront them. In this article, we refer to various examples from the exhibition, giving voice to women around the globe while dealing with the right to food. 

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