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In my early twenties, I was deeply affected by the story of my neighbour, a young Eritrean girl, who experienced a profound change after returning from a holiday to her parents’ homeland. This change was attributed to the traumatic experience, a practice I was entirely ignorant of until then, of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Ever since, it struck with me as an urgent issue that needed to be addressed. I did not know how, but I felt a responsibility to use art as a medium to share this story with the world, particularly with those who, like me, were/are unaware of this harsh reality.

However, the journey from this initial revelation to where I stand today has been one of decades. I immersed myself in the complexities of this issue, delving into the "why" and “how” behind FGM, engaging in conversations with organisations like Forward for Women, and women worldwide, exploring the unifying threads that connect us as a global community. A couple of years ago I finally started to find a way to narrate this issue critically and with dignity.

The title, /ˈsʌɪlənst/, is the phonetic pronunciation of the word 'silenced' as found in the Oxford dictionary. When one attempts to read and pronounce it, the experience mirrors the act of being silenced, intentional encapsulating the essence of the project.

With /ˈsʌɪlənst/, I endeavour to help to shatter the profound deafening silence enshrouding Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by this distinctive form of visual storytelling through the lens. /ˈsʌɪlənst/ is a deliberate attempt to break through societal reticence, shedding light on the unspoken struggles surrounding FGM and sparking conversations through the powerful borderless language of visual storytelling.

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