Be(com)ing a woman

From International Woman’s Day, 8th March 2022, a new temporary exhibition Be(com)ing a woman is on display at the Museum of Recent History Celje.

On exhibition we give space to different stories of women. But not to the legacy of important historical figures who marked the society, and they received recognition for their achievements much later, or are still waiting for it. We do not even dedicate it to the personal stories of all the important past and present heroines of everyday life, whom we observe, admire and follow, but it seems to us that we will never live up to their standards.

This is an exhibition about each of us. We place the personal stories of individuals next to the collective ones and explore where the boundaries between the personal and the social are and where the intersections are, where our individual experiences become part of the common. With it, we open the space for reflection on intimate feelings and awareness of gender, social relations and the representation of women in museums.

The exhibition first confronts visitors with the question of what it means to be a woman and who is a woman, not limited to legal-formal and biological definitions. It then represents the struggle for the right to abortion, which must be repeatedly protected from political tendencies to restrict it, a history of silence on violence against women that has only been interrupted by the feminist movement in recent decades. In the “Girls’ Corner” we collect opinions on what it means to grow up to be a woman and how the experience is burdened with social perceptions and stereotypes. The struggle of women for the legitimacy of deciding on their bodies is told by the story of the obtained right to cycling. Museum material related to the domestic work, which is still mostly done by women, is reinterpreted through the social meanings it carries while remaining overlooked and underestimated. At the exhibition, you can step into the shoes worn by women who were employed in women’s professions in the 2nd half of the 20th century and read their stories. Menstruation and sexuality, associated with many taboos, are not hidden behind barriers in the exhibition, but by directly addressing sensitive topics, we empower women to think about their bodies openly and directly.

The exhibition also includes art works by Vesna Bukovec and Lee Culetto.

A collection of papers, connected with the topics from the exhibition Be(com)ing a woman was also published, and the authors of the papers are: Maja Antončič, Tea Hvala, Nuša Komplet Peperko, Katja Pur, Urška Repar, Polona Sitar and Svetlana Slapšak.

Next to the exhibition, we are preparing also numerous of public guided tours and events.

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