Creative Visual Outputs Matter: Visualising Menstruation in Nepal
This paper is based on research carried out between 2019 and 2021 under a British Academy-funded Global Challenge Research Fund project entitled ‘Dignity Without Danger’. The project situated across three Universities with six local NGO partners explored the origins, diversity and the impacts of local, social, religious and cultural menstrual practises that fostered or denied dignified menstruation. The project took a collaborative action research approach to explore menstrual stigmas, taboos and experiences. The project team worked in all seven provinces of Nepal and collaborated with activists, creative artists, authors, designers, film makers and menstrual activists in order to leave a mark and make an impact.
This paper will bring together examples of the visual work created through 2 collaborative films by women in Western Nepal, a virtual immersive online exhibition, outdoor murals with augmented reality, Social Media work, an online publication ‘Celebrating Menstrual Activists’, blog posts by Jay from Stories of Nepal from both Western and Eastern Nepal. The team is also working our lead partner Global Action Nepal and the Menstrual Health and Hygiene Partnership Alliance to develop and pilot a ‘Menstruation Education Toolkit’ as a key outcome from the project which includes the various visual creative outputs to help us respond to the need for more quality education on menstruation in Nepal. With an array of visual outputs we reflect on how social science research can use collaborative visual methods to not only enhance outputs but to expand participation, decolonise the research process to share research findings in an engaging way that have a practical use for advocacy beyond academia.
Keywords: Visual methods, participation, dignified menstruation, research output