Leo Novel: Femen – the Naked War

Novel presented his series of photographs as a slide show on the foto 8 website, set to Western Fiasco – Bare Breasts (Femen Hymn). “Inna Shevchenko, a 24 year old journalism graduate from Kiev University and a key member of the movement, fled to France to seek political asylum and founded Femen international in the premises of a squatted theater in the neighbourhood of Goutte d’Or in Paris.”

Many of the photographs have at least partial nudity, but Novel has managed to photograph these women in a way that is empowering rather than sexualizing or objectifying them, even in photographs like below where the woman is being arrested. She looks furious, and has the words “may fascism rest in hell” marked on her chest. Many of the photographs are aggressive, an include women screaming in the direction of the camera. This is contrasted with images of women standing in crowds, wearing flowers in their hair and smiling. I felt that this represented a part of feminism, that allows women be as feminine as they want, and that being strong also can mean what they want it to.

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