8.000 or That´s all.
2012 – 2015, mixed media, about 400-500 x 300 cm
The art installation concerns to the global problem of the Female Genital Mutilation, which exists and is practiced in Austria as well. The tradition is a tool to the preserve the power in patriarchal societies and repression of girls and women.
Around 8,000 women in Austria are affected by female genital mutilation (FGM). (1) 8,000 women could be about 8,000 potential mothers. Their tradition challenges them and their families to mutilate their daughters.
In a country like Austria, where FGM is explicitly prohibited, it is possible to achieve a rejection of female genital mutilation in the affected groups. (2) Tradition, religion, ideal of beauty, health & hygiene are mentioned as common arguments – although FGM is not prescribed by any religion and is highly likely to have harmful effects on the body. Societies that do not have FGM as tradition, condemn it. However, at the same time similar surgical interventions are on the agenda. For example, in Western countries compulsory surgeries are carried out on intersex people (mostly babies and children), which are also classified as genital mutilation.
Intersex people, girls and women, whose society requires surgery on genitals, seldom have the choice whether they want this intervention or not.
Indisputably linked to this is the emancipation of the sexes, which must be sought in order to protect girls and women from FGM and intersex people from compulsory surgeries. This necessarily includes dealing with the social norms or constraints that force people to continue these traditions. Information and education are our strongest weapons in combating this misogynist practice. (3)
(1) WHO (2014): http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/
(2) African Women’s Organisation (2010): http://eige.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/Current%20situation%20and%20trends%20of%20female%20genital%20mutilation%20in%20Austria.pdf
(3) Waris Dirie (2007): http://www.gew-bildungsmacher.de/fileadmin/freie_files/Das_bewegt_Material/Gesellschaft/Auszug-U-Mappe-FGM.pdf