Backlight Container at the Triennial of Photography Hamburg will show Meeri Koutaniemi´s “Taken”.
Child’s hand had a flashlight. It was the only source of light in the dark mud hut. The child showed the torch at her, Nasirian, who was lying naked and tied on the floor. The light beam hit in between of Nasirian’s bare thighs. It all happened quickly. One of the ladies revealed an ordinary razor blade in her hands for the mutilation. Nasirian cried and the floor was streaming from blood. The more she leaked, the more she screamed. After few minutes her genitals were completely unrecognizable.
The World Health Organization estimates that there are more than 140 million mutilated women in the world. Female genital mutilation is a tradition practiced worldwide in 28 countries. Girls’ circumcision has been illegal in Kenya since 2001, but among some tribes such as the Masai people, it is still a valued tradition. Isina and Nasirian are 14-years old sisters in a remote Masai village in Kenya. They are circumcised due to be married the year after. The causes of female genital mutilation include a mix of cultural, religious and social factors within families and communities. The tradition stems from the belief that woman’s sexual organs are considered to be impure. FGM is often motivated by beliefs about what is considered proper sexual behavior, linking procedures to premarital virginity and marital fidelity. Female genital cutting has been widely judged as a procedure against human rights and as a serious violation against women’s sexual independence. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women.
Meeri Koutaniemi, 27-old freelance photographer, was born in Lapland and lives currently around the world. Koutaniemi studied photojournalism at the University of Tampere, Finland, but left her studies to dedicate her time for independent projects abroad. Her main interests are political and social issues concerning human rights and minorities. Koutaniemi has worked as a photographer and a journalist in over 40 countries and filmed documentary movies in Bolivia and Mexico. Koutaniemi is a founder member in an Italian Photo Agency Echo and Finnish Collective 11. At the moment Koutaniemi is focusing on her long-term project about female genital mutilation in different continents.
Triennial of Photography Hamburg
The focal point of the festival will be a container village on Deichtorplatz featuring exhibitions by ten European photo festivals and photo schools.
OPENING 18.06.2015 / 10:00 PM
LOCATION Container city, Forecourt of the Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Deichtorstraße 1 – 2, 20095 Hamburg
Opened: Thur, 18 June 6 pm – midnight/ Fri, 19 June 11 am – 7 pm/ Sat, 20 June 11 am – midnight/ Sun, 21 June 11 am – 7 pm/ Tues until Sat, 23 until/ 27 June, 11 am – 11 pm/ Sun, 28 June, 11 am – 6 pm