Artists Unite to End FGM is a network of socially conscious artists committed to ending female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and all violence against African women and girls. This started with an exhibition (Traditions Run Deeper Than Law) done in collaboration with artist Aga Tamiola in 2014 which was part of an overall FORWARD exhibition - Something About Bodies which was part of our 30th Anniversary events. 11 international artists created pieces deepening the understanding of cultural and traditional background of a harmful FGM practice and the complexities that societies encounter while trying to eradicate it.
Since then we then expanded upon our years of working with the arts to create a wider network including a new project Musicians Unite to End FGM. This saw us working with artists Dobet Gnahore, Modou N'diaye Cissokho, Vanessa Kisuule, Poetic Pilgrimage in 2016.
Musicians Unite to End FGM engages with well-known artists to raise awareness of FGM amongst a much wider audience and to audiences of artists whose countries of origin are affected by the issue.
The artists we work with belive they have a social responsibility to question, comment and take action. Their art practices range from painting, sculpture, photography, textile, new media, music, dance, literature and film.
Naomi Reid, FORWARD’s Projects and Events Manager says: “Artists have the power to inspire people and influence decision makers (traditional/religious leaders) and parents in FGM affected communities. We believe in the power of music to spread positive messages and make positive changes in society. Musicians Unite to End FGM is an ongoing project within FORWARD where we work with musicians from both FGM affected and non-affected communities to reach audiences we would not normally reach about FGM and other issues affectiing African women and girls. Through the enjoyable and powerful medium of music we hope to change more hearts and minds to end this practice and to inspire others to join in the campaign to end FGM.”