When guerrilla art meets activism, monumental action can occur. Here Menstrual Designer Jen Lewis interviews fellow artist Ingrid Goldbloom Bloch about the activist vision behind Bloch’s engaging banner Stop the Flow of Violence. PERIOD. Read on to find out more about this nationwide anti-violence campaign, including how you can play an integral role in supporting the artist’s vision.
Q1. Jen Lewis
Why did you originally create Feminine Protection? What is your vision for the piece now?
A1. Ingrid Goldbloom Bloch
I originally created this piece as a funny play on the phrase “Feminine Protection.” I didn’t realize at the time I was touching on much deeper issues. After creating my gun, I noticed people were more upset that it was made out of tampon applicators than they were that it is was a semi-automatic weapon. I was intrigued and shocked that the taboo of natural menstrual blood is more upsetting to people than the blood caused by gun violence. As a result, I have become much more aware of both the politics of gun control/violence and the social taboos surrounding menstruation. I hope that my art piece simply provokes further thought and discussion about socially acceptable images and topics.
What is your social/political goal for the piece? What community action do you want to spark?
My goal is that my art piece becomes the face of an anti-violence campaign. I hope people in cities across the U.S. will display my banner, Stop the Flow of Violence. PERIOD, in public places with the hopes that it will inspire the public to engage in conversations. The N.R.A. has Charlton Heston, the Anti-Gun movement needs an image as well! I hope that when people see an AK-47 made out of tampon applicators they will discuss violence in society, gun violence and violence against women. In addition, I hope the discussion expands to incorporate socially acceptable images of blood (why is gun violence okay but menstruation taboo?).
What kind of community partners are you looking for to display the banner? Do you have any lined up? If so, who?
I would be thrilled if feminists and activists on college campuses displayed my banner. I would love to see it prominently displayed in public parks, across from government institutions, and immediately following a terrible mass shootings in the city/college an event has occurred. I would love to see my banner in every major city in the U.S. but especially in Texas. If I had the funds, I would purchase a billboard in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas as a start. I would like to participate in the “open carry” protest that will be happening at the University of Texas Austin.
I put out a call on Facebook asking for volunteers to hang my art. I currently have one person in Minneapolis, Minnesota who has offered to hang it across from the State House in St. Paul, Minnesota. I am looking for more people to join in this guerrilla art show.
Where is your ideal location for the banner to be hung?
A4. IGBIt is weather proof so any prominent outdoor location would work. It could also be used in parades, hung from buildings or displayed in public spaces. I am open to the ideas of people volunteering to display this banner.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I am hoping people will document the public’s responses to my banner. I have created a website: FeminineProtection.org and a Facebook page for my art, IGBStudio, where I hope people will post photos, video and comments by the public. Once I have a group of people signed up to display my banner, I will turn my attention to making my website more interactive. I will admit social media is not my forte so I am also looking for partners interested in Tweeting under my hashtag #feminineprotection. In the meantime, please ‘like’ my art page: IGBStudio.
Find Ingrid and her art online at: