Current status: Accepting new applications on Gender Equality before 15 February 2017

A project by Emanuela Zuccalà, co-produced by ActionAid NGO, curated by Zona

UNCUT is a multimedia journalism project on female genital mutilations (FGM) and an ongoing campaign for the end of this traditional harmful practice. According to Unicef and the World Health Organization, more than 200 million women in the world have undergone a type of FGM: it causes women’s subordination, early forced marriage, school dropout, and exclusion from the social and economic life.

An obligatory ritual in certain societies, it is believed to “purify” women from their femininity, sentencing them to undergo excruciating pain to make them virgins for life, resistant to sexual pleasure, and therefore – the main aim – make them devoted and faithful wives. The victims are concentrated in 30 countries: with the exception of Indonesia, Yemen and Iraq, all the others 27 are in Africa. The European Parliament estimates that in the EU around 500,000 immigrant women are affected by an issue that comprises severe health consequences and complex integration paths.

UNCUT is an immersive and data-driven web-documentary that, through a strong interaction of text, photography and video, explains the spread of FGM and tells engaging stories of women who have formed coalitions to eradicate this practice in three African countries: Kenya, Ethiopia and Somaliland. An interactive map of Africa, coming from a a data-journalism survey, presents the statistics of the continent and an in-depth analysis of each involved country, while a map of Europe provides the most recent estimates on the prevalence of “cut” women in the European Union, Norway and Switzerland.

The web-documentary UNCUT was launched on February 6, 2016, the International Day for Zero Tolerance of FGM, by three European media (Corriere della Sera, El Pais, Worldcrunch), as the conclusion of an awareness campaign that has been inaugurated on November 25, 2015, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

UNCUT is also a series of articles (see the links below), a photo exhibition, a short movie.

  • Emanuela Zuccalà: author, research and data, video
  • Simona Ghizzoni: photography, video
  • Alessandro d’Alfonso: graphic design, maps, web development
  • Valeria De Berardinis: data research, production assistance
  • Paolo Turla: video editing
  • Giulia Tornari: supervision

Our special thanks to Renata Ferri and to Barbara Antonelli.

Cover photo: Blades and the thorns of qodax tree, the instruments used in Somaliland for the infibulation (©Simona Ghizzoni).

Project links


Photo gallery


Project information

  • Locations
    Kenya, Somaliland, Ethiopia
  • Duration
    4 months
  • Release date
    November 2015
  • Budget
    € 18550


Global Health Journalism Grant Programme for Germany