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Updated 19 August 2013

Walk-in vagina installed at old jail

A screaming, laughing vaginal canal has been installed at the old Women's Jail in Hillbrow, Johannesburg.

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Joburgers have a chance to stroll through a huge walk-in vagina thanks to an art installation erected at the old Women's Jail in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, the Sunday Times reported.

"By creating this vagina which you walk into, it contains you as the viewer, but also screams and laughs, almost like a battle cry, revolting against the prison," the artist Reshma Chhiba told the newspaper.

The walkway – installed in section two of the jail – is 12 metres long and made up of red velvet and cotton. A soundtrack of laughter and screaming plays throughout.

"Not many people – men or women – are unfazed about walking through this vaginal canal," said Chhiba.

She said that despite the fact the work was linked to the Hindu goddess Kali, she did not want herself to be seen as someone only making Indian art. "It's a global vagina," said Chhiba.

The walkthrough is part of a larger project, "The Two Talking Yonis" – Yoni is Sanskrit for vulva – in which photographs and paintings are exhibited at two other venues.

"It's scary to people raised with certain patriarchal values," she told the Sunday Times.

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