Pradip Malde: From Where Loss Comes
In his new monograph From Where Loss Comes, photographer Pradip Malde returned to his native Tanzania to explores the themes and realities of female genital mutilation (FGM). Along with Sarah Mwaga, founder of the Anti Female Genital Mutilation Network, Malde visited communities over a three year period to talk with activists, victims of FGM and former ngariba (Swahili for “circumcisers”), the sacred sites where these rituals take place, and the cutting tools used by ngariba. The result is a haunting and poignant collection of stories that are rarely told. Malde creates a sense of pain and beauty through his photographs, allows the women to center themselves in their own narrative, and gives a platform to voices that otherwise may be unheard. Mwaga, who passed away in 2021 and to whom the book is dedicated said to Malde, “So much pain goes covered, and I want your photographs to provide an eye, another way of opening what is felt in isolation.” From Where Loss Comes does just that, and offers a thoughtful musing to a dark reality that affects thousands of women every year.
From Where Loss Comes is available for purchase through Charcoal Book Club.
From Where Loss Comes
From Where Loss Comes is an uncanny collection of texts in English and Swahili and photographs that ruminates on the sacrifice and loss required to be part of any community. It demands that we take it personally, because, as Malde puts it, FGM/C “ultimately harms the community and threatens the human and environmental condition. For this reason, if no other, it matters that men, just as much as women, care about FGM/C and the fight against it.”
“This book is to be held, discussed, attended to. I hope that it is this kind of sustained attention that builds sufficient energy for us to excavate the links between loss and love, and begin to answer perpetual questions about what it is to be human” he writes in the foreword.
Malde received a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 2018 to complete the project. From Where Loss Comes is dedicated to the life and work of Sarah Mwaga, who passed away in 2021 just as the book was in its final stages of production.
Pradip Malde is a photographer and professor at the University of the South, Sewanee, TN, where he is the co-director of the Haiti Institute. Much of his work considers the experience of loss and how it serves as a catalyst for regeneration. He is currently working in rural communities in Haiti, Tanzania, and Tennessee, designing models for community development through photography.
Malde was born in Arusha, Tanzania in 1957. His parents were the children of Indians who emigrated to East Africa but had to flee from the turmoil that spread through that region in the 1970s. Concerned about loss and belonging since then, he has come to think of artifacts as membranes, where what may be explicit and immutable begins to lead us into the realms of memory and meaning, and ultimately, understanding the experiences of others.
His works are held in the collections of the Museum of the Art Institute, Chicago; Princeton University Museum; Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Yale University Museum, and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, among others. He is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow.
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