FINAL CUT - An exhibition by Maria Torffield about Female Genital Mutilation at the Ceres Gallery, New York
This exhibition addresses the subject of female genitals, their natural beauty, and the sexual mutilation of millions of women. This practice is active in 28 African countries, areas of Asia and Arab nations and is increasingly f...ound in Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States, primarily among immigrants from Africa and Southwest Asia.
UNICEF estimates that over 6,000 girls and young women undergo this torturous procedure each day, that is 4 girls or women per minute, and worldwide statistics show at least 130 million women today have had their genitals cut away.
Referred to as a “ritual,” this mutilating procedure consists of a partial or total cutting of the clitoris, labia minora, and parts of the labia majora. The cutting is performed mostly on young girls or teenagers, but also on adults, often by older women , who use razor blades, broken pieces of glass, or other sharp objects. No anesthesia is used.
Afterward, the sides of the vulva are often sewn or pinned with thorns until they grow together. Women who have undergone this cutting commonly suffer lifelong vaginal infections from urine and blood that cannot flow easily, chronic pelvic pain, difficulty walking, and even death.
The most sensitive organ of the female genitals is the clitoris with its bundle of 8,000 nerve fibers, the highest concentration of nerve fibers found anywhere on the body and twice the number of nerve fibers found in the penis.
My goal in creating this juxtaposition is to raise awareness of the beauty and differences in women, while confronting the audience with the subject of genital mutilation, its horror, brutality and sadness, the control of women’s sexuality and the need for this cruel and unjust tradition to end.