The Ukrainian feminist group Femen, known for their public topless demonstrations protesting sex tourism and lack of women’s education, are nothing if not controversial. Praised for their passion and media-savvy, they’ve helped spread awareness and activism on a global level; on the other hand, historians and strategists struggle with the group’s lack of focus. The group has been criticized by fellow feminists for using their bodies for media attention without clearly stated objectives. 

 

 

In a recent photo series, titled The New Amazons, the photographer Guillaume Herbaut creates an archive of images of Femen members, all standing proudly displaying their bare breasts, marked with a sort of modern feminist war paint. Equating the women with the ancient Grecian warriors, the artists perfectly captures the complexities of Femen. Each woman stands assertively regardless of whether she’s in her own kitchen or before a sweeping cityscape; they are exceedingly powerful, ready to enter battle. 

 

 

Although the group is clearly planted within the third wave of feminism, the photographs harken back to early second wave idealist imagery, highlighted in body paint and flowery garlands. Like the biblical Eve, one uncannily bites an apple. The series begs the question, “Is this the new face of feminism? Do we want it to be?” What do you think? 

 

 

Thanks to Feature Shoot

Images via Feature Shoot

Tagged in: women's rights, women's education, ukraine, the new amazons, sex tourism, Photography, guillaume herbaut, feminist groups, Femen, activism   

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