Our Bodies, Ourselves: The Collaborative Goes Global. Image by Jessica Tanny.
February 25, 2011 to October 12, 2011

The exhibition opens on Friday, February 25, 2011, and runs through Wednesday, October 12, 2011, and will be on view in the Schlesinger Library’s first floor exhibition area during regular library hours: Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Forty years ago a small group of women in Boston, frustrated by a lack of useful medical information, began an enterprise to educate themselves and others about their bodies. The fruit of this endeavor, which took shape in an ongoing process of discovering and sharing knowledge collectively, was the ground-breaking Our Bodies, Ourselves, a publication that was subsequently translated and adapted into more than 25 languages, and made available around the globe.

Key to the initial success of Our Bodies, Ourselves was the notion that it was a work to be read, discussed, shared, and responded to, a model that invited an ongoing critical reassessment. This process proved to be transformative for many of its participants. It was later echoed worldwide as groups of women rearticulated and adapted OBOS to address questions of women’s health and sexuality within their own social, political, and cultural contexts.

The Boston Women’s Health Book Collective has been instrumental in supporting its partners in this grassroots global effort to advance the health and rights of women and girls. This exhibition celebrates the collective’s extraordinary accomplishments over the past 40 years, and coordinates with the Radcliffe Institute’s spring 2011 conference, Driving Change, Shaping Lives: Gender in the Developing World.