The Vagina Museum reopens its doors to the public with a new location and a new exhibition focusing on a condition that affects millions.
The Vagina Museum will re-open this Saturday 4 November after they were made to leave their premises earlier this year. Remaining in Bethnal Green, they will start with a temporary exhibition exploring endometriosis.
Now the Museum has opened at a new location in the Archers on Poyser Street. This came after it was given notice by Tower Hamlets council to vacate their guardianship at Victoria Park Square in Bethnal Green.
The museum’s director Florence Scheter expressed their regret at having to leave the location so soon. She added: ‘We are actively searching for a new home, and we invite anyone who can help us in this endeavour to reach out in solidarity with our vital educational work.
The Museum has managed to crowd-fund its way back to success after running into roadblocks earlier this year. After the management received eviction earlier this year they put out a call to their supporters to help them continue their work.
In spring they then launched their appeal with a view to securing the new premises. The Vagina Museum said that “It’s a now-or-never situation: we need to raise £85,000 by the beginning of June in order to pull this off. Otherwise, we’re not going to be able to survive beyond a few months, and all activities will cease.”
Within three weeks, the Museum had raised its target amount with donations from more than 2500 individuals.
The exhibition, ‘Endometriosis: Into the Unknown’ will cover the basics of endometriosis as well as more recent research, exploring myths and the reality of living with the condition.
You will be able to see: a short film directed by Bonnie MacRae inspired by her experiences with endometriosis; a tracing back to our first findings of endometriosis with ancient Greek physician Hippocrates writing about adhesions on the uterus; and contemporary displays of research muth busting the topic.
Endometriosis is a condition where cells similar to the lining of the uterus are found in other parts of the body outside of the uterus. It affects 190 million people worldwide, yet awareness of the condition even among healthcare professionals remains low, with the average diagnosis taking 8 years from the onset of symptoms.
This exhibition has been produced in collaboration with Oxford EndoCare, part of the Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health, and the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics based at The University of Oxford.
The museum, the first of its kind, when it first started in 2017, will now re-open this Saturday 4th November.
‘Raising awareness of endometriosis has been a common request from our community since the Vagina Museum project began’, said Schelter, ‘and we’re thrilled to be teaming up with the Oxford research group to make this a reality.’
Brian Mackenwells, a spokesperson for Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, the research centre of the Nuffield Department of Medicine, who helped fund the project said: ‘From the first meeting, we have all been on the same page about the importance of this topic and the importance of amplifying the voices of the people with endometriosis that our researchers work with every day.’