The Face of Defiance to mark Zero Tolerance Day in London

29 January 2018

Showcasing powerful and inspirational stories of FGM survivors and activists, The Face of Defiance will be on show at Canada House and the Department for International Development in London from 5th - 9th February to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM 2018.  

The exhibition will be on show at Canada House as part of Orchid Project's morning reception for Zero Tolerance Day on Tuesday, 6th February from 9 - 10:30 am.   

It will also be on show in the atrium of the Department for International Development, London, all week from 5th - 9th February. 

Please note both exhibitions are invite-only.

“The Girl Generation is proud to partner with The Face of Defiance project as we work together to end FGM in this generation, bringing dignity and hope to  survivors and champions, and providing a platform for positive stories of change to be heard.” 
- Dr. Faith Mwangi-Powell, Global Director, The Girl Generation

Created by The Girl Generation’s Global Ambassador, Leyla Hussein, in collaboration with photographer Jason Ashwood, The Face of Defiance photographs FGM survivors and activists from the UK, US and Senegal who are willing to speak publicly about their experiences, most for the first time.

The Face of Defiance uses photography to share positive stories of change which inspire others to end FGM. It makes people aware of the many issues involved, and creates a new positive dialogue about ending FGM. It gives exposure to the rights of women who should be empowered to speak out and provides them with the platform to break the cycle and become agents of change. 

Leyla Hussein (psychotherapist, international award winning social activist and participant of this project), approached UK photographer Jason Ashwood in early 2014, with an idea to create a series of public portraits of FGM survivors. The aim was to promote an image of survivors who are beautiful, confident and proud of their remarkable achievements despite what they had suffered.

“FGM is fundamentally to control women’s sexuality, to oppress women in a process of grooming that in itself is a form of abuse. With The Face of Defiance, we are reclaiming our bodies back without feeling ashamed or controlled."
Leyla Hussein, The Face of Defiance co-creator

The participants of this project are therapists, nurses, campaigners, public speakers, authors, award winners and campaigners. They have all dedicated their lives to defy their community expectations by campaigning to end FGM and to support other survivors of it. In their own ways, they have written accounts of their experiences and have been willing to be interviewed to give fuller stories which accompany their images.

“The Face of Defiance has been a very moving yet positive project and I hope my portraits convey the beauty, hope and resilience of those who seek to end this human rights abuse, and inspire others."
- Jason Ashwood, The Face of Defiance photographer and co-creator

Find out more about The Face of Defiance -

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