Infibulation — Female Genital Mutilation
An interactive poster designed during Design Week, a week where students get to work with a visiting Designer. Starting the semester by creating awareness about women's safety issues, I tried to kick it off by designing a poster that attempts to display the pain felt by women undergoing infibulation.
Material Used—Fabric to resemble skin, thread to simulate the stitches, red paint and ink to mirror the blood Categories—Interactive Poster Design, Poster Design, Social Responsibility, Women's Safety, Human-Centered Design, Socially Responsible Design, Inclusive DesignProject Completion—September 2021
Introduction and Concept:
My concept is based on Infibulation, also known as Female Genital Mutilation. It is where a part of the vulva is cut and the genital area is sewn to keep only a little gap which allows the person to urinate. Their legs are then tied for a few months to stop the bleeding and avoid sudden movements. This is practiced in several countries where girls between 5-15 years of age have to undergo this process. This is practiced just to make sure they are virgins when they get married. Many girls have also died due to blood loss during the process. Even after marriage, some husbands don’t bother to open the stitches but just penetrate which results in more blood loss and sometimes, death.
For this reason, I designed this poster, curious to show the pain that is felt by the girls/women that undergo this tradition and are forced to marry a guy that is so inconsiderate of their pain. The pain is demonstrated by using skin-colored fabric as my main material for the poster and sewing it shut, to resemble the stitches. This poster needs to be opened forcefully by the viewer to tear the stitches, to make them understand the pain of the person going through this process.
The video shown on top was considered a powerful performance by my instructors and colleagues at Otis. This was during the first week of my first semester, when I tried to create an impactful design to invite people to think about such issues that are not discussed openly.
Speical thanks to Piotr Shzhalski who let me explore this issue and
encouraged me to explore various techniques to show the concept.