Writing and art on menstruation

Period Matters: bookcover

A pathbreaking anthology on the diverse experiences of menstruation in South Asia.

Menstruation is a topic often buried in fear and shame. Its discussion is even taboo in many societies. But menstruation is a healthy and fundamental bodily process.

A worldwide effort is now firmly underway to bring conversations about menstruation and menstrual health into the open.

Period Matters carries this important endeavour forward.

Period Matters brings together a breadth of perspectives from well-known figures as well as those whose voices are missing from the mainstream.

Essays, artwork, stories and poems from policymakers, entrepreneurs, artists, academics, activists, as well as interviews with those at the margins, such as the homeless and those living with disabilities, explore myriad aspects of how menstruation is experienced in South Asia.

A collection of breathtaking scope and significance, Period Matters illustrates with power, purpose and creativity both the variances and commonalities of menstruation.

Why Period Art Matters

Recordings of a live session held on Thursday 8th December

A live session held on Thursday 8th December, hosted by Pan Macmillan India. Celebrating Dignified Menstruation Day. With Farah Ahamed, Granaz Baloch, Lyla FreeChild and Amna Mawaz Khan.

Why Period Art Matters
Period Matters - front and back cover

Period Matters includes contributions from

Aakar Innovations • Farah Ahamed • Granaz Baloch • Siba Barkataki • Alnoor Bhimani • Srilekha Chakraborty • Shashi Deshpande • Tishani Doshi • Lyla FreeChild • Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan • Goonj • Menstrupedia • Anish Kapoor • Rupi Kaur • K. Madavane • Amna Mawaz Khan • Sarah Naqvi • Ayra Indrias Patras • Victoria Patrick • Radha Paudel • Radhika Radhakrishnan • Lisa Ray • Mariam Siar • Shahzia Sikander • Shashi Tharoor • Meera Tiwari • Tashi Zangmo

Edited by Farah Ahamed

Publisher: Macmillan
Language: English
Publication date: 28 June 2022

Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 9389104475
ISBN-13: 978-9389104479

Kindle: 16917 KB

Available to purchase

Paperback & Kindle


Performed by Amna Mawaz Khan

Aalap and Composition (Raag Megh): Tanya Hussain Camera: Waqar Arshad Assistance: Tamar Shehzad Editing: Vicky Coordination: Zeejah Fazli

Lyla FreeChild

The book cover for Period Matters features “Aadya Shakti” by Lyla FreeChild

Lyla Freechild with artwork

Lyla FreeChild with artwork

Adya Shakti: artwork

Aadya Shakti

My art was inspired by Lajja Gauri. Lajja Gauri is the lotus-headed Hindu goddess associated with abundance, fertility and sexuality. She is also known as Aadya Shakti (primal energy) and Bhu-devi (Earth goddess).

In my vision of her, I saw myself. In my painting you will see Lajja Gauri  wearing thick bangles, toe rings, anklets and armlets which is the kind of jewelry I always wear. In order to do justice to what I had imagined, I photographed myself extensively. I wanted my art to be very personal and intimate. I had been harvesting my own menstrual blood for several years and had collected enough to use as paint. I was convinced this medium would allow me to reclaim the purity of menstrual blood.


Reviews in 2023

I finished Farah’s Period book a while ago, but it has really affected my view of the world. It’s not that I didn’t know about these problems, but somehow the way it came across with the variety of stories and perspectives and scholarship gave a very powerful impression of what women all over the world are up against, in these times when we ought to know better…

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Period Justice event

A book event was held on 23rd November 2022 at the University of East London as part of a series of seminars on Period Justice.

Meera Tiwari moderated a session on Period MattersFarah Ahamed spoke about her journey to compiling the book and Radha Paudel shared her activism around the meaning of dignified menstruation…

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Why period art matters

Why Period Art Matters was a live session on Instagram, held on 8th December to celebrate Dignified Menstruation Day It was hosted by the publishers of Period Matters, Pan Macmillan.

The session focussed on the importance of period art as a tool for healing, community building, activism, education and as a pathway to self-connection.

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Women of 2022

The Financial Times asked its readers to nominate the most influential women of the year – women who have overcome barriers, set examples and shone a light on some of the most urgent issues of our time.

Farah was one of the nominees that the Financial Times selected.

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