South Africa opens world’s first walk-in vagina
TOURISTS in South Africa can now tour Reshma Chhiba’s screaming vagina. It’s housed in a former women’s prison in Braamfontein.
As visitors walk through the installation – 12m-deep – their movements trigger the walls (covered in an acrylic wool) to vibrate with howls of laughter and screams of pain.
“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. You don’t often hear men talking about their private parts and feeling disgust or shamed. And that alone speaks volumes of how we’ve been brought up to think about our bodies, and what I am saying here is that it’s supposed to be an empowering space.”
Visitors are not allowed to keep their shoes on. Why?
“We are talking about this vagina revolting against this particular space, so in this space it’s working on more of a political level,” she said. “Also, before you stepped in, you had to remove your shoes, so essentially it’s saying it’s a sacred space, you need to respect the vagina.”
But is huge walk-in vagina art? Security guard Benathi Mangqaaleza thinks not:
“It’s the most private part of my body. I grew up in the rural areas, we were taught not to expose your body, even your thighs let alone your vagina. I think it’s pornographic, I think they have gone too far.”
“I definitely did not make this work for the sake of controversy.”
It is also hoped that if the vagina is made large enough South African men will one day be able to name all its parts.