By Su Sun
When I was contacted by Mariya in the beginning of 2019 to join the Voices to End FGM/C workshop, I’d just found out I was pregnant. Previous experiences of obstetric trauma roamed around my head and it seemed to me that this project could be an opportunity to reunify two vital experiences that I’ve carried with me rather silently: khatna and violence during the delivery of my first child. Khatna follows us in every period of our lives, as a shadow, as a fear, a vacillation, whenever we have to deal with our bodies. How much better could I tell these stories, as I vividly remembered them, if not using the format of a poem? Verses that revive and denounce.
Additionally, it was important to me to turn the focus on who is the perpetrator of this traumatic experience and highlight the systems of oppression operating behind them: patriarchy and racism entangled. Nine months of a journey where my belly was growing and the story was being created. The experience of using the digital storytelling format, the first time for me, was a fulfilling one, with encouraging and inspiring dialogues with the team (both Mariya and Amy), flexibility to use our ideas as means of expression. Continuous communication and feedback. It was both creative and therapeutic to imagine the story and how to build it. Moreover, I am very thankful for being part of this project along with other women.