Bronze 2018 People / Portrait

Growing Up Female In Maasai Society

  • Prize
    Bronze in People/Portrait
  • Company
    Matilde Simas Photography
  • Photographer
    Matilde Simas
  • Photo Date
    November 16, 2016

Kenya’s abandonment of female genital mutilation (FGM) was written into federal law in 2011, yet the practice remains widespread in remote areas of the country. “If I do not accept the ‘cut,’ I will be forced to leave,” says one Maasai girl from a remote village. “Where can I go? Girls are cast out from their communities if they’re not ‘cut.’ ”She explains that many girls undergo the process due to familial and community pressures. Maasai society represses the voices of women, and the costs are high for girls who reject the traditional way.

Matilde Simas is an American documentary photographer and founder of Capture Humanity based in the Greater Boston area. Her work focuses heavily on the beauty of the human spirit and aims to show the dignity of every subject. Matilde’s travels have brought her around the world, where she examines the theme of human rights and attempts to capture – with the utmost respect and admiration – the resilience of human beings. Her greater Boston-based organization Capture Humanity is dedicated to bringing issues of human rights violations to light using creative storytelling to advocate change.