In November 2019, I adapted my Clay Body Mapping Research Method (CERM) and facilitated a clay workshop on menstruation in Nepal funded by Global Action Nepal under the umbrella of Dr. Sara Parker’s British Academy-funded project, ‘Dignity Without Danger’: Collaboratively Analysing Stigma and Taboos to Develop Innovative Strategies to Address Menstrual Exclusion in Nepal’. This workshop was undertaken by activists, educators and researchers working in the menstruation sector in Nepal.
I designed the new CERM), which incorporates clay body mapping and photography, for my PhD research in Nepal. This involved co-facilitating seven participatory clay body mapping workshops ‘themed’ around the reproductive bodies of women and men and enabled sex trafficked women in Nepal to discuss their reproductive health knowledge. Photography of the women’s clay work was then used to expand on these conversations in a group interview. This research had educative benefits for the trafficked women and girls from Asha Nepal and Centre for Awareness and Promotion Nepal (CAP Nepal) who took part in the research. These outcomes are reported here.
In Nepal, the CERM is known as ‘mato ko khel’ (play with clay), a term coined by some Nepalese women from Asha Nepal who participated in clay workshops during my fieldwork in Nepal.
Prior to my PhD, I facilitated creative arts therapy workshops for women with reproductive health issues, such as endometriosis, ovarian cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome, women undergoing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and more in collaboration with councils, hospitals, women’s health organisations, and medical and allied health professionals in Melbourne, Australia. I have also worked on an art therapy and women’s reproductive health project with sex trafficked women in Nepal with Art2Healing, which provided the inspiration for my PhD research and the design of the CERM.
In 2022, the CERM will be the subject of an upcoming book. Following this, due to the risks of using the CERM (i.e., clay and photography), I am also developing a training manual and training package with my former research assistant in Nepal.