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Taboo Child


In Africa, disability doesn’t stand up to tradition

« It is all about tradi-disability and social pressure to preserve the group’s ethnicity.
All the children I took a picture of have been excluded because they bear this taboo, this difference own to their disability or twinship.
These children don’t know who they are. There is no psychological monitoring. Big NGOs go to warring countries but forget developing countries… How can it be possible ?
Nothing allows us to think that any african population could be so powerless in the face of this problem. Traditions alone can decide for the fate of an illegitimate child, a unblessed child…So they are abandonned, and this is a real disaffection. »
Malik Nejmi

In Africa – and mainly in traditional backgrounds- a disabled child has little chance to survive. A malformation, a mental deficiency, and this is a sign that something is breaking.
It is difficult for us to hear a malian doctor saying that in some west-african ethnic groups, midwives get rid of disabled childs at birth. To understand the word « Ngoki », which means incomplete for Samburu and Masai ethnic groups in Kenya, is not an easy thing either. And what about this particular definition of death? When they are sacrificed, these babies don’t truly die. The mother is told they have been sent back… To born again later on.


The exhibition is an installation of 130 photographies, polaroids and text together with a video.

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