GUM teaches the public to draw phalluses, vulvas and more with a surprising connect-the-dots booklet

Gents Universiteitsmuseum Vulvaboekje (foto: Michiel Devijver)

What do you see down there? Using a remarkable connect-the-dots booklet, the GUM (Ghent University Museum) shows the world that there’s more than just your classical ‘dicks’ or ‘vaginas’ (and that vagina really isn’t even the correct term). The booklet was published as a part of the exposition PHALLUS. Norm & Form, which runs until January 2023.

The booklet will be distributed among students, high schoolers and will also be available in the museum shop (while stocks last). Just like the expo, the booklet challenges preconceptions: the look down can and should lead to questions up there.

20 pages, 20 vaginas. Or not at all?

Language and images don’t always peacefully co-exist. The vagina is a prime example of this. When we talk about the vagina, what we usually mean, is the vulva: the external part of the female genitals, which includes the lips of the vulva and the clitoris. The vulva is only one part of the extensive spectrum of genitalia.

The connect-the-dots booklet offers the draftsman some realistic insight into the great variety of genitalia and challenges him with pertinent questions. How do you view (your own) genitals? Is there such a thing as ‘normal’ when we talk about stuff below the belt – or not?

“We use the expo ‘PHALLUS. Norm & Form’ to show that there is no one form or one norm. Everyone’s different. The connect-the-dots booklet allows us to further spread that message,’ GUM director Marjan Doom tells us. “Connect the dots, finish the drawings and think about the unique position you find yourself in on the spectrum.

Gents Universiteitsmuseum Vulvaboekje (foto: Michiel Devijver)
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Workshops claying the clit, linocunt, …

Feel like getting your hands dirty and really getting to work on Phallus. Norm & Form? Register to participate in one of the creative workshops organised by the GUM. There will be linocuts, botanical drawing, claying the clitoris and more.

PHALLUS. Norm & Vorm

The expo PHALLUS. Norm & Form is open to the public up to and including 8 January 2023. Download a sample of the drawings shown at the exhibition on our website, where you also find information regarding the workshops and ticketing.

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