The Cut is a performance produced out of the Gugu Women Lab, a collective of women that author and human rights activist Valentina Acava Mmaka has founded in Cape Town in 2011. The participants, South Africans and immigrants from other African countries, were involved in a writing project which soon after expanded in a multimedia project experiencing the interactions of different forms of art (theatre, poetry, music, dance). The collective work aimed to determine teh interconnections between spaces and identity and the impact each person has in the space he/she lives.  Working with people with different backgrounds allowed the creation of a stimulating environment, based on confronting and exploring the many potentials of humanity and creativity. During the workshop, a group of women shared their experience as survivors of Female Genital Mutilation. Considering that FGM is a taboo also within the communities who perform it as a traditional ritual, the sharing of such a dramatic experience, made clear the power of the work done within the workshops exploring imaginaries and identities. Coming out ,exposing the pain of their mutilation was a sign, a clear sense of awareness which has affirmed their determination in refusing FGM as a traditional ritual, if not for them, for their daughters and other girls of their communities.   It’s right to say that the WORD becomes the BODY of the woman. The WORD enables the woman to find her new identity.

The Cut is dedicated to my beloved sisters Zanele, Amina, Haregu, Wanjiru, Doudou, Ayana, Fatoumata, Imane, Ewoma, Salaam, Jane, Chantal, Nozi, Tembisa, Naledi.   

The prformance is a perfect mix of poetry, music, dance

Jali Diabate

The KORA, an ancient instrument from  West Africa is performed by masters Jalis, storytellers who keep the traditional knowledge of their people. 
The strings of the KORA, in the words of jali Lao Kouyaté , are like the strings of the fisherman: the musician fishes, playing the strings of teh KORA, stories from ancient times of legendary people and places to share with the audience.

Ala Master

The DJEMBEE, ancient drum played by the djembbefola(fola means player). 

The fusion of these instruments, the delicate rhythm of the Kora and the intense tunes of the Djembe, exalt the poetic value of the performance allowing a tense process of identification. 


THE CUT is a performance which can be presented in schools and communities as an educational tool to raise awareness on Female Genital Mutilation.

Along with the performance it's possible to organise an interactive workshop on Body, Identity, Language.


In 2014 Amnesty International - Italia sponsored THE CUT for its value to promote Human  Rights


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