reproductive justice para todxs
For my print, I chose to focus on the issue of global reproductive justice. While I’ve been passionate for many years about this issue in the United States, I gained a slightly different perspective last semester while studying abroad in Argentina. While I was there, the legislature was deciding whether or not to legalize abortion. I was interning with a women’s collective at the time which was active in feminist spaces and events where the topic was often discussed. People would wear bandanas on their wrists or necks, or they’d tie them to their backpack or purse, on a daily basis to show which side they were on in the debate. I’d ride the subway to class and see green bandanas everywhere proclaiming people’s pro-choice stance. Earlier this semester as I brainstormed potential topics for my broadside, news of “heartbeat bills” and new abortion restrictions in states around the U.S. had me feeling discouraged but also reminded me of the fight for reproductive justice which is still happening in Argentina a continent away.
While I played around a bit with how to best display my idea, the finished print is quite similar to my initial sketches. I was inspired in part by the artist’s book I chose to feature in our exhibit, Birth Control by Ginger R. Burrell. Her work juxtaposed images of the female reproductive system printed on paper with images birth control methods and short quotes printed on vellum and layered on top. Burrell’s book showed me how minimal text supporting powerful images could be an effective way to emphasize an image, and I ultimately used a similar method in my broadside. I knew that the iconic green bandana, which is a symbol not just in Argentina but now in other Latin American countries, had to be a part of it but I toyed with how to display the bandana. Knowing that the text would be in Spanish and that the symbol of the green bandana is not familiar to an American audience, I wanted a more universally recognizable image. I picked a wire hanger because of its long-standing association with abortion.
I chose to utilize cut vinyl for my images because I liked the crispness I could achieve with the vinyl, and I enjoyed the white space it left around the image which wouldn’t have been possible with a pressure print. I struggled at first with making the bandana look enough like a bandana to be recognizable. However, I was able to achieve this in part by gouging the cut vinyl to create small lines of negative space where the bandana would’ve been knotted around the hanger. I ran each print through the press three times. The photo to the left shows the press bed for my first printing session, in which the text was printed in black. I later printed the hangers in metallic grey during a second session and the bandanas in green during a third session.
The text on the print reads “abajo el patriarcado se va a caer” in the top left corner and “arriba el feminismo que va a vencer” in the bottom right corner. These phrases are from a chant popular at pro-choice rallies and feminist events in Argentina and across Latin America, and translate to “down with the patriarchy, it will fall” and “up with feminism, which will rise.” These words were stuck with me months after returning to the United States because of their simultaneous simplicity and complexity. I decided to name my piece “reproductive justice para todxs” which means “reproductive justice for everyone” using a gender-neutral term in Spanish to recognize that the struggle for reproductive justice is not bound to one language or country.
-Logan Kramer, Scripps '20