What Was Ours

What Was Ours
on Susuni Mountain, Wanchari clan, near Tarime, Tanzania, 2018.
Scan of a Platinum-palladium print on Reich CT48 Translucent paper,
from an 8×10 inch negative
Printed 2018
10″x8″

The young girl on the left was recently cut, but her friend, on the right, ran away when about to be cut. Since then, and upon the insistence of her parents, she has been accepted back into the community. Both of them go to school together.

This is the sixth image of ‘From Where Loss Comes‘, a photographic series about female genital cutting and sacrifice. The series is published here with permission from all the people portrayed in it.

Another post about the making of this photograph


A narrow band of clarity – photographic focus – flows across their faces. The two girls are wedged between blocks of tone, emerging, almost squeezed up, from a boulder’s edge. They exist despite the forces of their entrapment.

Or it seems as though these almost women, almost girls, are leaning into a zone of becoming, a zone of focus, a place of clarity and knowing.

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2 Comments

  1. There’s a difference in their eyes that may be accidental, but is also very telling. As is the apparent absence of one girl’s hand, and the tender but restrained presence of the other’s.

    Mike

  2. Mike, thank you for seeing these important parts of the image. Those eyes, especially.

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