Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard

FABLES OF POLLUTION AND MENSTRUAL CYCLES

Marie Louise will tell the stories of polluted and polluting menstrual cycles, through Haraway’s ‘cyborg’ as a figure that blurs the boundary of human-technology-nature. Menstrual cycles are often stigmatized in society and ignored in medical science, yet for people who menstruate they are mundane, habitual experiences. For human survival and reproduction, menstrual cycles are crucial, but for more-than-human species menstruating can be toxic and polluting through hormonal and material waste. Environmental studies have long documented the environmental impact of menstrual cycles, and medical science has recently started examining environmental and epidemiological crises’ impacts on human menstrual cycles. Examples include how air pollution, global warming, and the coronavirus and vaccine are affecting hormonal changes in people who menstruate. Through these narratives, Marie Louise will speculate on other possible futures where menstruating humans can attend and transform such menstrual changes and their relations with environmental-epidemiological crisis. She will present the collaborative project ‘Biomenstrual’, an exploration of designing multispecies menstrual care, and use these material explorations as a starting point for fables of pollution and menstrual cycles, starring humans, dogs and mosses; tardigrades, earthworms and blueberries; soil, particles and viruses.

Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard
© Trieuvy Luu

Dr. Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard (she/her) is a Danish designer, artist, scientist and postdoctoral researcher at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Norway. Through speculative design and feminist technoscience, she explores futures of intimate technologies that respond to human menstrual care and sexual desire. Her practice engages with the materiality of the human body and its entanglement with socio-technical-political ecologies. She has a PhD in interaction design from Aarhus University, Denmark, and has been a postdoc at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. She is a Bioart Coven member and the co-founder of the Speculative Futures Stockholm chapter.

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