Today is the release of my book, Cut Woman. The book not only touches on what it means to be an Indonesian Muslim survivor of FGM but also my personal documentation of the ongoing list of those I’ve lost.
In Cut Woman alone, there are over 230,483 deaths mentioned directly or indirectly. 15 documented (emphasis on documented) deaths of Muslims in the U.S. since 2001 (again emphasis on documented. I know more have been lost). 230,000 from the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia that was parodied into a song. Over 563 from the earthquake in Lombok in 2018 that was undermined due to western media’s attention towards white tourists. A version of me that could have been. A version of my father that could have been. My grandmother. My friends, family members, and even my first boyfriend.
During the writing of the first draft of Cut Woman, three people I loved died. During the time between the acceptance of my book until its release, four more perished. Cut Woman is my requiem for all of them, including myself. I don’t know how long I’ll sing for them but I’ll do it anyway.
The following songs are of my love and mourning, how my love is always a form of mourning, and in turn, my mourning is a form of love.