In this paper I will explore the ways in which Amnesty International affectively mobilizes the readers of their anti female genital cutting print campaign: The Rose Campaign. I intend to interrogate the incentives behind the operationalisation of the Rose Campaign images and, in submitting the images to careful critique, analyze the utilization of repetition and citation as well as the adoption of symbols which connote certain stereotypes and affective responses. In doing so I hope to highlight the construction of meanings which are often left hidden. The Rose Campaign images are created to respond to ‘female genital mutilation’, which is understood by Amnesty International as a form of ‘violence against women’. By attempting a critical ‘reading of the rose’ which unpacks assumptions and knowledges I move toward a more nuanced investigation of NGO print imagery, submitting it to the type of dialogue increasingly advocated by feminists analyzing written text.
The University of California Research Cluster for the Study of Women of Color in Collaboration and Conflict was founded in 1991 by faculty and graduate students at UCSC. Reviving the cluster, and continuing and expanding this work, in 2015-2017, doctoral students from across different California institutions (UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Hartnell College, California State University, Long Beach) have collaborated to co-author and co-edit this journal on the theme of witnessing and testimony as a decolonial feminist methodology. This collaboration across disciplines has allowed us to build upon our diverse experiences and training as we deeply examine and push the nexus of identity, subjectivity, violence, conflict, and collaboration.