During 2013 I've been touring mainly Italy with my performance on FGM The Cut-Lo Strappo, which many of you know it was done out of the women's collective Gugu Women Lab during 2011 in Cape Town. It has been a huge experience meeting and confronting with different kind of audiences and it has been rewarding receiving the applause especially from the youth who generally ignores what Female Genital Mutilation is about.
When I started working with the women of the GWL, I didn't know, at the very beginning, that we were going to work on this subject, it was after our meetings that one of our sisters' participants, Haregu, came to me and asked if in our work we could write and talk about human rights, if there could be a possible "space" for Female Genital Mutilation. It wasn't an easy move for Haregu. But she came forward and she took her responsibility sharing her experience within the group becoming so far, an inspiration for others who had passed the same experience and decided to unveil their pain and share it with the group. This turning point menat lots of things. Realizing that words, art, imagination cannot just heal but also rise awareness and be synonymous of taking action, was the greatest satisfaction for me as a writer and activist. Having the chance to write about the long journey from innocence, pain, struggle, rejection and sharing it has been a great privilege and made stronger my belief that Art can tell better than any other fomr of comunication. Art has the mystical power to engage one person to its deepest feelings.
Yes, the year passed fast as usual when you keep yourself busy and so many ideas, projects, deadlines, dreams get crowded in your life schedule. Next year will be as much busy as possible. I will continue one more semester to promote The Cut in Europe which has a new version where live music is performed by wonderful maestros of Kora, Djembee and Nguni, which perfectly fits the lines of the text and kindle people's deep emotions.
Promoting human rights and awareness on FGM means to me, as an artist, as a woman, as an educator and as a mother, being able to create and inspire a public dialogue which can get rid of stereotypes, prejudices.
This year I also received attention for The Cut by a university student in the South of Italy who filled a part of her thesis degree with a profile on my work and this made me once again aware of how much youth matters in contributing to the public dialogue on FGM.
As a volounteer of Amnesty the same student linked me to the organization who showed interest in my work which is a good premise for a possible future collaboration.
I also got interest from some students in the University of Nairobi who asked me about my work and who are willing to create a dialogue on FGM among their friends to understand how is the perception of FGM in urban-educated Kenya.
GET THE CUT-LO STRAPPO PUBLISHED IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES
Many people in the audiences I've met, asked me where they could purchase a copy of the poetry-play (don't think there is a precise category whcih can fit the text) and because the text it has not been published yet, I had in mind to do so and also, to make it available to members of different communities, I thought it will be nice to publish it in three or four languages so that it can be a valid tool for educators, parents, students and for all who want to know better and have a wider understanding on FGM. I'm not sure how all this will come to reality, but one of my purposes of 2014 is to have the text published so that it can reach as many people as possible in different countries.