More about this Photo Story
It had started by chance, to transform later into a month-long project. It is not easy to talk about taboo topics. Silence. Fear. Escape. At a certain point of time I almost lost hope that I would be able to complete it. Then I met Mrs. Kone and thanks to her the project got out of a dead-end.
Everyday around the world 6,000 girls and women are subject to Female Genital Mutilation.
In Côte d’Ivoire alone over 30% of women are mutilated. FGM has been legally banned there for almost 15 years now. Although this practice has relatively diminished, still thousands of girls and women are forced to go through it.
Female circumcision has gone underground and has beeing carried out on younger and younger girls, also babies.
During 8 months I have managed to reach 10 girls and women who agreed to be photographed and to share their experience. One of them, Soro, compared herself to a “broken pot”. I remember how abruptness and accuracy of this comparison pierced my heart.
Actually, it is not only my project. It is ours. Of us 11. And of other victims of Gender-Based Violence and of all those who are against it.
In Côte d’Ivoire I had an opportunity to work with a non-governmental organization CIDEF (Centre Ivoirien pour la Dignite de l’Enfant et de la Femme/ Côte d’Ivoire Centre for the Dignity of Child and Woman). It brings together over 30 dedicated, local volunteers - doctors, nurses, teachers, tailors, salespersons who help the poorest and the most vulnerable victims of violence - women and children. CIDEF does not only provide medical and psychological assistance, but also campaigns against GBV. It is active in places the most touched by violence and which are not reachable by International NGOs. Soro, Silue, Anne Marie and Nassabou are CIDEF’s members.
Thanks to Janek Brykczynski for his valuable hints and a helpful heart.
Learn more about: Agnieszka Napierala
Social photographer/ documentalist.