28 Days Greater

"poetic, pragmatic, passionate"
   
-Louise Penn

"a resistance against the narratives of shame and weakness associated with the menstrual cycle"
-Lilly Gill

the films

 28 Days Greater is a collection of 28 short films illuminating the powers of the menstrual cycle. 

Created by Carolyn Defrin

Filmed + edited by Rosie Powell

Music by Callum Grant + special guests

Premiering at Camden Peoples' Theatre 'Calm Down, Dear!' Festival of Feminism

One film a day for 28 days

July 1-28, 2021

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Excerpts

2. be with the pain

my eyes are adjusting

night stars way-finding in the dark

trying to give permission to fear less

grip less

trust more

the crown is intact though adrift 

and she whispers:

be with the pain

do not numb

do not distract

do not loathe

rather hold this soft skins that protects

this blood full belly 

that carries a different shade of pain and life

than the last time

6. swim up salmon

swim up salmon

wild in your red orange pink

propelled by nature to return home

leap

arc your way elegantly in splash and circumference

with sky and sea

this pull is full

of yearning

so effortless despite death's edges

edging inevitably

and yet for now 

the light of the sun

the water's currents

pull

you 

up

11.  what do we see?

High Tide rising

what do we see?

what rarity?

what unity?

what history?

with minds no longer set out to sea

but revered instead for how we see:

differently

laterally

seizing and seething and seeing

with such sublime sensitivity

that they can only awe and envy

17. in the garden of fuck up and apology

i bulldozed

i overstepped

i'm sorry

i was trying to distinguish

my self

my knowledge

my know better

i made you look small

feel small

not my best moment

deep down

deep deep deep down

i know my actions betrayed my words

my practice cancelled all of my preaching

and i was wrong

i was wrong

22. eat the whole thing

I’m snacking now

In a body of disembodied hands

Like the ‘thing’ from the Addams Family,

but there are many.

And not one is his beloved Lady Fingers
from episode 17

This is a different love affair
between hands and bowls and bags
insatiable crunching, crisping, cracking, slurping, stuffing, lip smacking
most conspicuous of consumptions

My hunger leaps to the bottom of the bowl and looks back at me
She blinks

She winks
Liquid residue of soup’s last slurp
Rinses her eyes with a saline that clears the histories of guilt, and fear, and shame
Wind-shield wiping, she soothes:

Replenish.
For what’s to come won’t be easy

27. return

We meet in the brochure of 1958

the girl with the braids turns her head to us and she smiles this time

'Empty your pockets,'

she says,

'Then look from outside yourself.

Spin in an orbit and let go of what went wrong.

You can ride these strange fears until they spill downwards,

evaporate upwards–

So that only the star dusted clutter

that serves you

need line your inseams

for the long-legged strides ahead.'

'Reset,' she says

'Restart.'

About

the Project

"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."                                 

                                                                              -Carolyn Defrin

the team

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:

Sue Mayo

Bella Cox  

Jiwoo Park

Hayley Konadu

Vicky Wong

Honor Fitz-Maurice

Vicky Relph

Raquel Trigueiros

Aylah Trigueiros

Lelia Katalnikova

Sally McNeill

Raji Gopalakrishnan

28 DAYS GREATER premiered at Camden Peoples' Theatre's 'Calm Down, Dear!' Festival of Feminism 2021

The films were released one day at a time.

1-28 July, 2021

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