With the theme “Health in Arts and Humanities”, the 8th edition of the International Conference on Arts and Humanities (ICOAH) counts on the participation of CIAC researcher Juliana Wexel, CIAC coordinator Mirian Tavares and CIAC vice-coordinator Bruno Mendes da Silva. Organized by the International Institute of Knowledge Management and with the support of the University of Algarve and CIAC, the conference takes place virtually on the 21st and 22nd of September.

“Vulva Art & Vulva Mapping: the contribution of digital media art to a literacy of corporal empowerment” is the title of the communication that will be presented by Juliana Wexel and Mirian Tavares, in the session “Gender, Sexuality and Intersectionality” on the 21st September and that results from the research in the thesis ” Vulva art, art(vi)smo e média-arte digital: Contributos imagéticos em novos discursos estéticos femininos por uma cultura da equidade” [“Vulva art, art(vi)smo and digital media art: Imagetic contributions in new feminist aesthetic discourses for a culture of equity”] , of Juliana Wexel’s PhD in Digital Media-Art.

The communication focuses on a comparative analysis of the contribution of digital technologies (such as expanded reality, 3D modeling and fine art digital resources in vulva art genre projects), for a literacy of bodies and sexuality, through vulva mapping as a practice of female empowerment. For a comparative reflection, three objects of analysis are elected: Anatomy of Pleasure, a 3D computer modeling art project, which describes the female genitalia from the perspective of sexual pleasure, developed from medical visualization on human anatomy, by artists Alakina Mann (fine art artist and medical illustrator) and Timea Kosa (medical illustrator and graphic designer); The Vulva Art Project, by fine art photographer Arkady Brown, who through experience in photo essays, encourages the confrontation of body shame and encourages women to get to know their genitalia through the medium of image; and the collaborative project Gynodiversity, an illustrated atlas aimed at creating a comprehensive classification for female genital variation and in resistance to the aesthetically reductive idea of a single, fetishistic model of the vulva evoked by the labiaplasty market.

The article is based on notions of the epistemological power of artistic images (Zielinski, 2017) and image paradigms in the digital age (Santaella, 2016) and contributes to transdisciplinary studies between art, science, and technology from feminist cultural and intersectional studies and arts research practice (Candy, 2006). “Vulva Art & Vulva Mapping: the contribution of digital media art to a literacy of corporal empowerment” aligns with the indicators of goal number five of the UN 2030 Agenda on gender equity (which aims to eliminate all harmful practices, as well as genital mutilation; ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, and also increase the use of basic technologies, in particular information and communication technologies, to promote empowerment).

Bruno Mendes da Silva participates in the event as a Member of the Evaluation Panel for the technical sessions “Art and Health” (September 21st) and “Creation, Asesthetics, Techniques” (September 22nd).