Online Portfolio of London based African Visual Artist asiko

In 2016 a work colleague told me her story of female genitalia mutilation and how the cultural practice created a lasting psychological and physical impact on her life. In her story she detailed how she was cut at the age of 14 and how most women of her age from Somalia are cut as a normal occurrence. I started my research and exploration into an aspect of African culture I was unaware of.

This led to creating the work 'Conversations' which was a set of conceptual images about violence against women and its intersection with African culture. As I discovered these aspects of my heritage I became aware of the lasting impact of a patriarchal system that uses culture as a tool to ensure its durability, by suppressing female expression and sexuality. In the images, I use plants and flowers as symbolic expressions of culture, representing beauty, fragility and destructive power, likened by the role of culture in male dominated societies. In the images I created symbolic representations of physical and psychological effects of these violent practices of female genitalia mutilation, breast ironing, child marriage, sex slavery. The work was completed in 2018.
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