bodies at high tide is a photo book: menstruation in 35mm film
Many of us spend a third of our days bloating, contracting, aching, and oozing, quietly consumed, interrupted, or quarantined by the hormonal tidal wave commanding the primal swamp between our legs. In 2013, when I began making these photographs, I’d never seen a picture of anyone menstruating. Our bodies are history’s muse: endlessly neutered for exhibition, hollowed into a husk of breasts-hips-ass. But in art and culture, menstruation is a gap, sewn-up and silenced, between virgin and madonna. It is too ugly to picture.
bodies at high tide is 33 photographs like these.
I want to give these pictures to the world. With your support, I’ll bring this book to market in independent bookstores and online, and donate it to libraries, health centers, sex-ed programs, gender-studies departments, and more.
to print the book, i need $7000.
I’m hiring a top-notch printing company, which uses four-color offset presses. Offset printing produces a much richer and more consistent image than digital printing, which is what most self publishing print-on-demand services use. Offset printing only works in large runs, which is why I’m printing a lot of books at once. This also significantly reduces the printing cost per book. I’ve seen this publisher’s work, and I believe in it.
Seven-thousand dollars will fund
an initial run of 750 books
standard shipping to me
registered ISBNs for all editions of the book, print and electronic
basic domain and web hosting for this site
rewards for crowd funders like you
I designed the book and book cover myself, built this website myself, and produced the video at the top myself, so your money won’t go toward any of that.
What happens if I don’t raise the goal amount? I’ll still do what I can to bring the book to market using the funds raised, but I can’t guarantee fulfillment on any contributor rewards.
This is me, Egan Marie.
And my 35mm camera and my two kids.
I started making these photographs long before the year of “period positivity” and way, way before these two creatures were born. I had just moved back to Atlanta, and I was curious to make pictures of this thing I’d never seen photographed. I built a darkroom in the bathroom of the split Victorian I rented. I photographed women in their bedrooms, an art gallery, the underwear aisle of Walmart. I filmed focus groups. Planned Parenthood Southeast lent me their non-profit status, and I crowdfunded. I had big plans. A year and a half later, a small festival in New York had just recruited me to produce a short documentary when I missed the first period of my first trimester.
Two unplanned pregnancies and two home births taught me a lot about this thing I was trying to photograph; so did a relationship in which my gender left me vulnerable, gaslighted, and diminished; so has single motherhood, which put a long pause in this project. In the three years since my oldest was born, I started a small business vacation-renting my home, quit my job running a bar, re-built my darkroom, and finally picked up these photographs again. Now I work in between breastfeeding the baby and answering the toddler’s relentless questions.
have a listen.
These recordings were made in 2015, with the equipment I had at hand. They’re far from studio quality, to say the least, but they speak to the kind of conversations this project inspired, back when it was called “Cunabula,” a word meaning birthplace, origin, cradle.
On “The Misconception of Our Matriarchy” | Selected Audio from the 2015 Short Documentary ↓
On Conception and “Corners of Shame” | A Podcast ↓
“This is Where It All Starts” | audio from two storytelling groups ↓
preorder a signed copy
I’ll send you a signed first-edition book as soon as they arrive at my door!
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Other Ways to Contribute
Fine print: Books, dust jackets, photo prints, and other rewards available in June 2019. Reward fulfillment contingent upon meeting funding goal. Your contribution will not be refunded if goal is not met, but I’ll still use the funds received to bring the book to market, if possible. All photo prints for rewards are made on a professional digital printer. For contributions at the $100, $200, and $400 levels, I can donate books in your name to public libraries, feminist health centers, gender-studies programs, or sex-ed programs, or other organizations if you wish! I’ll always receive consent from the programs before shipping. All contributors will be acknowledged gratefully on this site and in email updates!
how far we’ve come + how far we have to go
Thank you Christine C., Christine T., Madeline, Marika, Peter, Sandy, Tiago ♥
Updated each evening.
If you have questions about funding or about the project, please reach out.