An ordinary room, or a dark hut in a rural village. A razor blade bought at a market will suf ce, or a sharp knife, or simply a shard of broken glass. Sometimes needle and thread, or the thorns from a wild-growing bush. The women of the family restrain the little girl while a circumciser is paid to in ict in her a pain so intense that it will never be forgotten.
For 200 million women in the world, the passage from infancy to adulthood is marked by the blood of a female genital mutilation (FGM). The procedure comprises cutting the clitoris, sometimes scraping away the labia minora, up to the removal of all the external genitalia and sewing the incision closed leaving a small hole for menstrual ow and urine, which will later be cut open on the wedding night. An obligatory ritual in certain societies, it is believed to “purify” women from their own femininity, subjugating them through pain and making them virgins for life, resistant to sexual pleasure, and therefore shaping them as devoted and faithful wives. According to UNICEF, the victims of FGM are concentrated in 30 countries of the world, of which 27 are in the African continent. The European Parliament estimates that in the EU around 500,000 migrant women are affected by a wound that causes severe health consequences and complex integration paths.
The exhibited photos are part of the project UNCUT, which was born from an idea of Emanuela Zuccalà in order to in-depth investigate the topic of female genital mutilations. UNCUT (uncutproject. org/en) is a web-documentary that narrates how in three African countries – Somaliland, Kenya and Ethiopia – women have been uniting in coalitions in order to eradicate this harmful practice. It’s a collective story that sews together several tales of pain, of a ght for women’s rights and, in many cases, of success and empowerment.
In Somaliland, Sadia Abdi has rescued her younger sister from in bulation and later on she founded 53 women’s groups throughout the country to advocate for a law against FGM. In Kenya, Faith Mpoke and Lucy Itore are are two obstinate Maasai activists who are rescuing girls from “the cut” by allowing them to study. In West Pokot, another area in Kenya, a network of foster mothers host in their huts the girls who are escaping from the bloody rite. Finally, while in a hot and isolated valley in southern Ethiopia, Fatma and Talaado teach the men of their community that their wives and daughters, if respected in their femininity, will be the driving forces towards the health, the well-being and the development of the entire society.
Uncut by Simona Ghizzoni
35 Prints, different sizes
Coulour and black/white, printed on SMARTX 1cm
See technical rider
See technical rider
17mt whithout space