On October 25, 2017 the New York Times ran a photo essay by Dionne Searcey. The photos were of Nigerian girls who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram. The girls who would not “cooperate” were wired up with explosives. They were sent into market places to blow themselves up, killing and maiming many people. The girls in the photographs managed to escape either by turning themselves in or undoing their wiring and running away. They are heroic, saving many lives.
Searcey covered the girls’ faces to protect their identities from their own community members who were afraid the girls had turned and were dangerous. Some believed the girls to be impure.
These photos and narratives and my reaction to them were the motivation for this work. The general lack of power and mistreatment of women in our country by men is also part of the intent of this work.