Contraception—although it may be a particularly contentious issue at the moment—has been debated for as long as humans developed modern societies. From douching with Coca-Cola to using crocodile dung as a physical vaginal barrier, women have tried all sorts of birth control methods over the years—some more successful than others. For her series Miscontraception, Sarah Alinia Ziazi created eight colorful illustrations to shed light on the history of contraception.
Ziazi creates her illustrations primarily through analogue mediums like gouache and inks. "I prefer working with real paint because it feels more authentic to my practice, especially since I like the idea of introducing Fine Art into my illustrations," Ziazi explains. She says her method gives her a "unique perspective as a modern traditionalist to isolate myself from such a digital age we live in."
Although Ziazi may separate her illustrations from the majority of those being created today, there is no separating the content of her work from today's societal issues. One piece, entitled "Grab Them By The _____" was inspired, in part, by Trump's Access Hollywood tapes. The other influence is a medieval aged-contraception method wherein women would tie weasel testicles around their thighs while having sex. The system was less than successful for women of the time, but it provides a perfect satirical metaphor for Ziazi's work.
Crocodiles and Beestings
"Since sex is a big part of people's lives, I want to take the idea that 'sex sells' and embellish on that by using historical contraceptive techniques," Ziazi says. "I hope to connect with millennials who are unfamiliar on the history of contraception and show them how it has evolved from ancient civilizations to present day."