Event Announcement

CF+ Closing Workshop with Marie Kochsiek: "Bodies and Technologies: Menstrual Tracking, Health Apps and Beyond"

Endometrium At Beginning of Menstruation. The glands, except for the one seen in the center, have collapsed, having discharged the mate-rial which was secreted during the premenstrual stage. The blood-vessels have been eroded bythe ferment contained in the secretion, allowing the blood to exude into the tissue and on the sur-face of the endometrium. The surface epithelium in this section is still intact.
Image from "Gynecology," 1916, William Phillips Graves. Internet Archive Book Images (https://bit.ly/2MsEZwg)

This closing workshop invites participants to consider concrete entanglements between bodies, matter and technology. The event will consist of two parts: workshop by Marie Kochsiek and a closing discussion of the CF+ network.  

Workshop: “Menstruation Tech: From Current Apps to Imagining Alternatives“

In this workshop we will tie together theory and practice around period tracking apps. The session is divided into two parts: input and hands-on. The workshop starts with an overview of period tracking apps, currently among the most popular health tracking apps, for good reason. However, privacy, transparency and gender diversity are often not taken into account. Additionally, these apps are shaping norms on bodies, sexuality and sense of well-being. They track and share intimate user data for their own commercial purpose according to their business model. The design and functionality often reproduces and promotes sexist gender stereotypes and further stigmatizes reproductive and menstrual health. We will have a closer look at the current most popular apps and why people are motivated to use them in the first place in order to understand the users' needs.

The input intends to stimulate an exchange of ideas, which aim for transparent and reliable technologies. Split into groups of 4-6 people, paricipants will then be invited to discuss and collect ideas for improvements and solutions that tech can be a part of. What do we want these technologies to look like? What problems could they solve for us and our communities? Let's imagine health tracking technology done right. Let's speculate about the future of menstruation and other health tech together. At the end we will gather for a final round of discussion and compare results from the groups.

After the workshop participants will be invited to take part in the closing discussion of the CF+ project.

About Marie Kochsiek

As a sociologist and software developer Marie is interested in the intersections between technologies and societies, especially with respect to digital health tracking and digital rights. As a research fellow at the Weizenbaum Institute Berlin, Marie is currently investigating how open soft- and hardware contribute to self sovereign bodies in the context of sexual health. She co-founded the hackspace for women* in Berlin-Kreuzberg called the Heart of Code e.V. and is an active member.

About CF+

“Reconfiguring Computing Through Cyberfeminism and New Materialism” (CF+) is a project of the Gender/Diversity in Informatics Systems research lab at the University of Kassel, Germany. The project aims to lay the groundwork for revisiting dominant modes and practices of knowledge and artefact production in computer science through cyberfeminist and feminist new materialist lenses. It also aims to consolidate a network of researchers, artists and designers working on and interested in these issues for on-going collaboration.


If you are interested in participating in this event, please email goda.klumbyte[at]uni-kassel[dot]de

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