Female genital mutilation: 68 million girls at risk

February 4, 2019

Printed by Picto

Female genital mutilation is a practice that involves altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons, and it is internationally recognized as a human rights violation. According to the United Nations Population Fund, more than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut around the world and today, around 68 million girls may be cut if efforts are not accelerated to end this harmful practice.

Banjul, Gambia. August 2, 2008. Religious leaders join a circumcision celebration and pray for the girls. Next to them is the Ngnangsimbah, the “cutter woman”. This is the day that Agi (centre), 7, will be recognized by the adult community. In Gambia, 75% of girls between 15-19 undergo female genital mutilation (FGM). Photo by Edu Bayer

On February 6, 2019, the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation and the alternative media movement Dysturb present, in partnership with the United Nations, “Female Genital Mutilation: 68 Million Girls at Risk”, an exhibition of photographs at the United Nations headquarters in New York and of mural-sized paste-ups in the streets of the city.

The exhibition covers the geographical scope of the practice, often thought to be limited to some regions of the world, whilst simultaneously giving space to those who speak out – girls, survivors, activists, educators, for a successful and sustainable elimination of the female genital mutilation.

Kayes, Mali. 2016. Sada Coulibaly lost two of his daughters following female genital mutilation (FGM). At that time, 138 villages in the area had decided to go against the dominant opinion in Mali, and publicly declared their abandonment of FGM. Photo by Riccardo Venturi

Among the photographers exhibited, we find Edu Bayer, who has previously been recognized for his work on the Cuban youth, Jake Naughton, whose last projects deal with issues faced by the African and Indian LGBT communities, or Riccardo Venturi, who began his career in the 1980s documenting Italian and European social issues.

Hamashkoreeb, Kassala State, Sudan. 2014. Trained midwives teach hygiene to a group of girls at the water facility of a rehabilitated maternity ward. Midwives play a fundamental role in encouraging their communities to abandon female genital mutilation (FGM). Photo by Laura Salvinelli

Launched in 2014 by a group of photojournalists, writers, and artists, Dysturb presents contemporary global issues in an innovative way, completely independent from the restrictions of conventional news publishing channels, using the most basic of social networks: the streets. To date, the non-profit organization has installed more than 1,000 murals in cities around the world and have made educational activations in more than 100 schools.

Amboseli, Kenya. December 7, 2017. In the Maasai village of Lenkisem, girls between 9-16 participate in a two-day ceremony that brings girls from surrounding villages to one school. They bonded while being educated on their basic rights and why female genital mutilation (FGM) is unhealthy. Photo by Andrea Bruce / NOOR

This event takes part in Dysturb’s long term engagement for women’s rights and marks a new chapter in #WomenMatter, its global campaign of awareness on the topic. It includes a series of events, educational programs and public exhibitions that promote the fight against all types of violence against women and highlight the story of women who inspire change. Within each activation, Dysturb covers the extent of dangers that women face in the fields of economy, heath and family, as well as physical and sexual integrity. In contrast, stories of women who are activists, rebels and dreamers are also featured.

Pattani province, Thailand. March 15, 2015. Thai girls walk past Pattani Central Mosque before the evening prayers. Women in the region are encouraged to cut their daughters under the assumption that it will control their sexual urges in adulthood and make them “clean”. Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha


Picto has been honored to print the Female genital mutilation exhibition for Dysturb at the United Nations. The photos were printed on archival paper and large wallpaper, we then installed the finished wallpapers.

Female genital mutilation: 68 million girls at risk

February 7, 2019 to March 25, 2019
United Nations Visitors’ Lobby
46th St & 1st Ave

New York, NY 10017


Recent posts
I Can Make You Feel Good
Tyler Mitchell, a 24-year-old photographer and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, aims to revitalize and elevate the Black body in his work by representing people in his own community as joyful and proud. Characterized by a use of natural light and candy-color palettes, his work visualizes a Black utopia contrasting with representations and experiences of reality, while offering a powerful and hopeful counter narrative.
Lower East Side: A Neighborhood’s Photographs
The Lower East Side, one of the most densely populated, multiethnic, and modern places in the country, has been mined by photographers for more than 100 years. While late 19th-century social reformers attempted to show “how the other half lives,” later photographers had a different, and often more personal, relationship with the neighborhood.