28 DAYS GREATER
28 Days Greater
"poetic, pragmatic, passionate"
"a resistance against the narratives of shame and weakness associated with the menstrual cycle"
"a resistance against the narratives of shame and weakness associated with the menstrual cycle."
-Lily Gill, The Reviews Hub
"The most rewarding part of this project thus far is the discussion it’s provoking amongst women, and across gender...opening up a space for people to talk openly about the taboo subject of menstruation and to feel like they belong in that conversation- whether they menstruate or not."
-Carolyn Defrin in conversation with Theatre Bubble
"poetic, pragmatic, passionate"
-Louise Penn, Lou Reviews
"We need rage as much as we need quiet and calm."
- Carolyn Defrin conversation with Mickie Noonan, Standard Issue Podcast
"My period has mostly been an experience of hiding: hiding tampons, hiding pain, hiding emotions. All to ensure I wasn’t pinned as weak. Two years ago, I began reading the trending literature about menstrual power and suddenly felt like I was uncovering a secret code- a blueprint for empowerment that was in tune with the natural world.
Each film is a short audio-visual expression of the strengths I’ve begun to notice as I’ve charted my own cycle and listened more closely to my body. Talking with other women across age has furthered that sense of power as post-menopausal women expressed missing bleeding because it gave them a sense of ‘restart’ each month and newer menstruators shared their close attention to the need to rest and honour the pain, rather than ignore it. It’s also been important to me to talk with those across the gender spectrum to see how they relate to a female structure like the menstrual cycle since so often it is the other way around. Male friends who felt they shouldn’t ever ask opened up about their own emotional and physical cycles. One father shared his understanding of the power of bleeding as a life force- not something to shame- but rather uplift. Trans friends offered unique insight into hormonal impacts on their bodies and the ways in which that offers additional possibilities for existing beyond the linear view of patriarchal productivity.
My hope is that each film can illuminate a part of life as informed by the menstrual cycle, in a way that several people (whether they menstruate or not) can relate to. 28 DAYS GREATER is not a prescription, or an effort to portray every aspect of menstruation as positive; rather it’s an artistic expression of the value of each aspect. Rage needs its space as much as quiet as much as confidence. If we listen to our bodies and the natural world around us and allow ourselves to move through it all, regularly- we might be healthier for it. For me, the 28 artworks feel aspirational. I’m trying to listen to my body and answer its calls more and more- but it doesn’t come easily as I’ve been trained not to listen for so many years. Each cycle thus becomes a conscious effort. But I now see this as an opportunity each month, rather than a drag."
Created + produced by Carolyn Defrin
Filmed + edited by Rosie Powell
Music by Callum Grant
Additional music by Adeloa Yemitan, Kevin O'Donnell
Sound Mix by Rob Ackerman
Graphic Design by Mimmo Manes
Featuring performances by:
28 DAYS GREATER was developed with support from Camden Peoples' Theatre's 'Calm Down, Dear!' Festival of Feminism
behind the scenes
As part of her creative process for 28 DAYS GREATER, Carolyn Defrin interviewed 28 people across age and the gender spectrum. Together they talked about periods, cycles and power. Have a listen to some excerpts and get in touch if you'd like to talk or find out more.
join the movement
Want to find out what's happening next for 28 Days Greater?
Interested in booking a screening, an exhibition, or a facilitated dialogue to help de-stigmatise periods?
Get in touch!