“According to estimates by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 13.5 million girls worldwide each year are forced to get married before turning 18 years old with men that are much older than them: 37,000 girls every day to whom, in fact, childhood is denied. Isolated, cut off from family and friends, and any other form of support, these girls lose their freedom and are subjected to violence and abuse. Many of them become pregnant immediately or shortly after the wedding, when they are still children.” (Amnesty International, 2015)
In creating these images, I tried to think of this reality far away from me, as ancient, barbaric, something that I read in newspapers, something I can hardly believe it can happen, while the numbers reported by Amnesty International are drastically high.
How can I interact with such a thing?
I thought about what would a mother feel while dressing her daughter to go and get married so young, at 8, 9, 10 or 12 years.
A mother who probably had the same hellish life, who fears that her daughter will not make it after the wedding night, as often happens, because of the lacerations inflicted by sexual intercourse to a body still too young to go through. I took some photos of very young models from some fashion magazines and I dressed them, with a box of old laces that my mother has always guarded. Even though some were a little stained, I preferred to use them as they were.
I tried to carry on a process of identification, between models and small brides, between their mothers and me. I wanted to transfer the idea of a denied, forced, violated childhood on the advertising that we see on a daily basis that references to a completely different world.