What’s Wrong With This Picture? AI’s New Campaign on FGM

Genital1_2 Came across info on this on Feministing and Salon. A Swedish ad firm came up with a new campaign for Amnesty International against female genital mutilation. I’m surprised by how many people consider this a great ad campaign. Yes, the images are beautiful and striking, but they are also completely ineffective.

I responded on a couple boards with the following:

Neither the images nor the text come close…

I’m really disappointed in this campaign. Neither the images not the text come close to conveying, or even suggesting, what really happens to these girls.

First of all, they deceptively convey only one part of one type of FGM. (The other part would have been cutting off a good chunk of “petals” before sewing.)

Consequently, the rose isn’t DAMAGED at all! It’s not MUTILATED. It’s a lovely image of a rose that has been sewn in the middle. In fact, the rose is so unblemished it appears that the stitches could be removed and it would bounce back into its former perfection. The text doesn’t describe what female genital mutilation really is and it doesn’t suggest the physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of the act.

Given that the actuality of this horror is beyond what anyone unacquainted with it could or would imagine without being explicitly told, this is just too vague to be of any consequence. FGM is so unpleasant to contemplate and so removed from most of our everyday lives that the only way to get someone to fully experience the stomach-turning, chill-inducing discomfort of recognizing what it really is, is to be BLATANT.

And, I’m sorry but in the pink image the “clitoris” is healthy and thriving and absolutely untouched.

Too artistic. Too (thriving, unblemished) beautiful. Too vague.

What do you think?

…Coming up next “Female Genital Mutilation and Male Circumcision – Why They Don’t Equate”


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