my name is Ame, l am the creator of Body Culture.The reason why l did not introduce my self to you earlier is because l felt that the message (the dangers of female circumcision) was more important than the identity of the messenger (me). During the exhibition of this site to the general public, various people who approached me asked some important and interesting questions. Just in case you may have similar questions in mind, l will repeat the answers that l gave to them....
"Why did you choose this subject?"

I have an interest in controvercial and taboo subjects. Alice Walker's documentary 'Warrior Marks' was my first exposure to the subject. It was only when l discussed the issue with my mother that l discovered that she had been circumcised, and was contemplating (when we were very young) on circumcising us! When l realised this, l felt it important that women born in the West, especially potential targets (women of African decent) should know about this.
"Why do people do this?"

There are various reasons why, depending on the country, religion or culture/tradition that the person/people belong to. If female circumcision is practiced for religious reasons then it is most likely that it would fall under the Muslim faith (Qu'ran). For any other other reasons such as culture or tradition, it is most likely based on moral beliefs in accordance with gender roles.

"As a British born Nigerian, how would you feel if a Nigerian, who practices FGM, were to accuse you of propagating Western idealism?"

During the production of this project l have wrestled with this problem a lot. In the back of my head l kept hearing a voice saying..'what right do you have to point the finger at other cultures? They have a right to their beliefs just as much as we do'. Although l live in the West there are many things about Western culture that l do not agree with and voice regularly. In regards to this issue, female circumcision is not just a racial or cultural problem, although it may appear so at first contact. I am strongly against the act because it is a human rights violation. Women and children across cultures and nationalities have been violated in various forms, female circumcision is just one manifestation of this condition.
Final Word

I have noticed that people tend to label me because l am vocal in regards to my beliefs and views. Various names such as 'feminist','radical','political','troublesome' have been used to describe me. Nah!....l don't think so! when people start giving me labels that's when l know that l have hit a sore spot.

Anyway in the spirit of democracy and free speech, here is your chance to discuss or respond to what you have seen. The aim of this project is to increase awareness, so if you know anyone who has been circumcised, or if you have more information that you want to share then feel free. It is important that you share your views, even if you disagree with the approach to this issue and believe that l am being unfair, then please send me your views!