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Reisverslag Controversial FGM-documentary “Why circumcise?”
2 juni 2008
Controversial FGM-documentary “Why circumcise?”
Controversial FGM-documentary “Why circumcise?” launched in Garowe
Title: Why Circumcise?
Edited and produced by: Mukhtar Hersi
Directed by: Abdi Farah Juxa
Time: 23 Minutes long
By Sahro Ahmed Koshin, Puntland blogger
My main objective is to cultivate ground for discussion in an attempt to sensitize awareness and ignite dialogue on the reasons behind the FGM practice, argues Abdi Farah also locally known as ‘Juxa’, the director of the controversial FGM-documentary “Why Circumcise”, with dynamic and energetic enthusiasm.
There was an eerie and echoless silence as the one hundred or so invited individuals present at the launching of the documentary Why Circumcise, stared in ravenous eagerness and culminating fascination at the PowerPoint display in-front of them. The documentary is brilliantly edited and produced by Mr. Mukhtar Hersi.
The film begins with a powerful quote: “When will others stop deciding our own fate?” Portraying an exotic appearance, the documentary itself is twenty-three minutes long and set in Garowe town. With at least twenty actors, actresses, traditional and religious leaders and activist involved in it, the film propels people with a deep-seated curiosity but also a crushing sorrow as defenseless innocent girls scream in agony and pain as their genitals are cut off and sewn together. A domestic endearment, FGM is a practice that has been practiced in Somalia and in many African countries for generations. There are sympathizers and opponents of the practice and much has been said and written about it. One, for this fact alone, therefore obviously needs a good dosage of ethical wisdom and a fresh impetus to do something out of the ordinary.
Breaking through taboo topics:
And that is exactly what this new film envisages. As a Somali and as a writer who has researched and written lot on the topic, I dare say that this Juxa has achieved that objective. In the documentary and in the discussions that followed after the launching. Issues relating to genitals, sexuality, intimacy, virginity, sexual orgasms, patriarchy, marriage, child bearing, and many other taboo topics such as the often forgotten contributory roles of men in the sustenance of the practice of FGM were lively discussed. Men and women spoke emotionally and passionately about the practice, that has come to define the identity of many Somali men and women. The women present at the launching voiced their opinions. A woman argued “it is actually men who are keeping this horrendous cultural practice alive by demanding for an all-sewn-up woman as a bride”. To illustrate this point, halfway through the documentary, a married couple heatedly discusses the FGM-fate of their daughters. The wife begins by saying that her daughters will not be circumcised at all. The husband dismisses the wife’s arguments with his hand in a decisive manner and with a disillusioned and dominating influence convinces the wife that the practice has a long history and that it is against our religion to not do it. An animated and intense discussion starts with no end. A third clip shows a traditional leader sharing his perception of things and argued in a disappointed posture that FGM is one of the the Somali cultural heritages and should therefore be practiced as our ancestors did.
Sharpening cultural tools:
Halfway through the film, a woman sharpens her cultural tools in defiant coldness and grasping cruelty. Tools ranging from knives to scissors and blades are sharpened and made ready for the FGM-table. A screaming girl-child is brought and pinned to the table as older women shout “Uff! cut that thing, cut it off, be quite dear, you will be a woman today”.
The why? of FGM:
The film serves a multitude of purposes. First of all it functions as an educational tool raising awareness and forcing us to think of the whys of FGM: Why is it done? For whom is it done? Who does it? Whom does it serve? The documentary does not only highlight in emphatic earnestness the reasons behind the practice, it also holds every Somali accountable for contributing to the prevalence of FGM. Because of its deep-rooted nature in Somali history-, culture-, identity and indeed heritage, many consider it a routine and thus necessary part of a girl’s life. Using personal stories from women who have been through the complex adversities of the practice the film also cautions about the medical complications of childbirth and reproductive infections as a result of having gone through FGM. A man stated that even men suffer as victims. He spoke of the diminished efficacy of men’s sexual organs as they are unable to deflower their newly wed spouses, for she is all sewn up!
An unplanned heated discussion:
There are many myths associated with FGM. Those in favor of it, argue that the kintir if left uncut will grow and outgrow a man’s genitals.others argue an uncircumcised woman will have such an uncontrollable sexual desire that she will become loose. Even more exciting than the planned heated discussion during the launching was the informal discussion that was ignited by the women while having their lunch in the conference room. In a graceful demeanor, a woman commented that the kintir (clitoris) is not at all there is to sexual pleasure. “I have heard of circumcised Somali women”, she continued in a demure composure, “who coiled like snakes on the ground in delirious sexual ecstasies!” Yes, many echoed, it is a gift from God they all agreed as they chewed on their lunches. Another woman exclaimed that they should have organized an all-women’s meeting since it is about FGM- and thus women!
For information relating to the possession of the documentary, please mail the following people:
Puntland/Somalia: Abdi Farah Juxa: email@example.com
North America: Eric Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Europe: Kinsi Abdallah, email@example.com
2 juni 2008 12:11 | Door: Abdishakur
waw, who is this guy? i thought only women did this...
3 juni 2008 07:32 | Door: howa
we need more men to do this!
3 juni 2008 07:37 | Door: Dr. Mohamoud
I think that Somali men and women will continue to blame each other (the blame game) but in reality they themselves are doing FGM to their daughters. So we need to practice what we preach. Anyway, great project.
3 juni 2008 11:07 | Door: Fadumo X.
i dont know if kintir-cutting will ever stop. Maybe in the West lakiin never ever in Somalia.
3 juni 2008 11:29 | Door: Mahamoud
where can we have a glimpse of the film Sahro macanto? pictures?
3 juni 2008 13:51 | Door: maybe we
men r the prob really.
i aint cutting my girls. noooo way!
it is somali men in somalia r talking abt this problem.
how r u dearest?
we misssss u sahriee!
3 juni 2008 15:05 | Door: Shamsa H.Said
Hoe kunnen we deze film kan krijgen?
en Bedankt voor je informatie die ik mag lezen,
Trainer en Adviseur
3 juni 2008 16:06 | Door: Dr. Samatar
After that Islamic greeting, i am happy for what u r doing for your homecountry and people. Always interesting to read from you.
We shall wait for the documentary to come on the market. is it only available in Puntland?
12 juni 2008 19:57 | Door: Marleen
Superman move over, You really are Superwoman to me!
There's a lot to be done to stop this mutilation but you are making changes!
Goodluck and take care!
15 juni 2008 17:07 | Door: Naima Abdidahir
hoi lieve sahro ikmis je heel erg(ik denk iedereen)
en ik ben zo trots dat jij dit allemaal aankan maar echt ik mis je zo erg
zo er blij ben ik op jou
16 juni 2008 18:16 | Door: khadisja koshin
alles goed exuces
dat ik niks heb laten merken ik hoop dat alles goed gaat met jouw echt leuk wat je doet ik hoop dat je me kan vergeven.
kun je misschien foto laten zien van Sahmso en de familie.
love you so much
Kissis your little sister K.Koshin
20 juni 2008 15:55 | Door: ABDISAMAD H FARAH
WAAN IDIN SALAAMAYAA DHAMAANTIIN KOOXDA ARINTAN KA SHAQEEYNAYSA SIDA AAD NAFTIINA UGU HURTEEN IN AAD WAX KA QABATAAN DHIBAATADA LOO GAYSANAYOGABDHAHA SOMALIYEED BOGAADIN IYO AMAAN BAAN IDIIN SOO JEEDINAYAA WIXII TAAGEERO AH QAYBTAYDA BAAN KA QAADANAYAA WAANA JOOJINTA AMA KA HORTAGA GUDNINKA GABDHAHA SOMALIA.,FROM LONDON UK
WABILAAHI TOWFIIQ ABDISAMAD H FARAH
27 oktober 2008 19:00 | Door: N.Koshin
Sallamoe Alikoem Sahro,
Alles goed met jouw ik mis je heel erg. Ik heb de foto gezien echt mooi van Mama en de rest.
Maar ik spreek je later Inshallah.
groetjes Nejma koshin
7 december 2008 18:43 | Door: Naima.Abdidahir
heeej sahrooo ik iss je heelerg morgenis hetsuikerfeest jammer dat je er deze jaar er niet bij bent maar we zullen nog vaak aan je denken ik kna echt niet wachten tot het januari doeiiii kussjess van je nichtje