Monday, 6 July 2009

4th plinth

Today's brain tickler - if appearing at very short notice on the plinth, what to do?

Feedback already has been stilted, people have been commenting that it is underwhelming to say the least. Estelle and I brainstorm different options today in the office. We unpack the model of a woman's torso, with interchangeable bits to show different types of FGM - so you can take out a "type II" and insert a "type III (infibulated)". There's also a pretty graphic one with a baby's head trying to push through an infibulation. Quite graphic. After a while of looking at it, we decide, absolutely definitely that the clitoris is in the wrong place. We end up saying to each other that we definitely know where our clitorises are... Estelle figures out long before I do that we have the entire model upside down....

Then we turn to various posters and banners that they have. We ponder for a while, then I discard that thought. It looks too staged. This is an art project after all.

Estelle makes me flinch when I ask her if we have any examples of knives or cutting instruments. "No" she replies, "but we do have some of the thorns that are used to close the incision." A quick search of the premises however, do not reveal the thorns. I think I am grateful.

So, the brainstorm continues - we come up with the idea of cutting the rose. Perhaps a rose for a number of children. How to make the figures work? There are 3 million girls at risk a year. A phone call with Julian from a boat in Majorca. He urges me to think more creatively, to event plan, to write out what I'm doing for the whole hour. He is right - I need to do more.

Any thoughts?

Much more to write - in particular about the seminar we held about Women, Islam and Sexuality.

Back soon....

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