YZ and Her ‘Amazone’
Warrior Women On
According to historical accounts of the First Franco-Dahomean War, in the 1890s it was the highly trained military women who were chopping off the heads of the French. Sometimes while they slept.
French Street Artist YZ Yseult has begun her own campaign to pay tribute to the fierce female fighters of the 19th Century West African country of Dahomey, who are more commonly referred to as Amazons. A startling narrative of female power not often heard today for some, but as YZ is researching her own history as a descendent from slaves, her portraits reflect a personal impetus to tell these stories with a new force. She has named this series of strong warriors on the street “Amazone”.
“While doing research on women in Africa, I have been compiling a photographic archive,” she says. “I’ve been searching for the places that could come into resonance with the subject. I’m looking for locations that communicate the historic perspective of the project as well as those that may draw a parallel with present issues.”
“Many women have fought for their rights and the rights of their people, yet few of them have been recognized for their achievements and many stayed unknown,” she says. “To know where we are going we need to know where we have been, and these stories are important to educate the next generation, especially women.”
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