Tagged: Favourite

The Lost Histories of Women at War

Anonymous photographer- Simone Segouin , French Resistance, 1945 All images © courtesy Lumière des Roses, lumieredesroses.com

Anonymous photographer, Simone Segouin , French Resistance (1945) (all images © and courtesy Lumière des Roses, lumieredesroses.com)

Photos of men in war are ubiquitous — as historical records, photojournalism, and complex artistic representations. Images of women in battle are less common, mirroring the stereotype that men are overwhelmingly the warring sex. Femmes au Combat (Women in Combat), an exhibition at Galerie Lumière des Roses in Montreuil, France, unearths photographs that document a history of female combatants.

The pictures, credited to anonymous artists, hail from a range of conflicts: the Mexican Revolution, the Irish War of Independence, the Spanish Civil War, and World War II. Most, with the exception of a propagandistic USSR photo from 1930, seem to have been taken either as photojournalistic snapshots or posed portraits.

Many of the images show women exhibiting traditional markers of femininity alongside their phallic weaponry. One from 1945 depicts Simone Segouin, a member of the French resistance, with her hair coiffed and pants fitted to adhere to styles of the time. She wears rings on the fingers that grip a submachine gun, and her belt, tied in a bow on her hip, doubles as an ammunition holder. Similarly, anarchist Yvonne André, depicted in a 1913 photograph, wears her fashionable hat jauntily askew.

Other pictures, however, reveal the violence and physical deprivations of war. A 1973 photograph depicts a hooded IRA member holding a machine gun, with one hand gloved. The combination of hood and glove suggest the violence of terrorism, of hostage taking, of anonymous brutality. A 1936 image from the Spanish Civil War shows a middle-aged woman whose face and hands are covered in dirt, her skin weather beaten and lined. Although she smiles, the photo reminds us that armed combat is far from glamorous.

Femmes au Combat provides much to ruminate on: lost or ignored feminine political history, the gendered nature of combat, the question of gaining societal equality through participation in violence and war.

Anonymous photographer - Mexican Revolution, 1910

Anonymous photographer, Mexican Revolution (1910)

Anonymous photographer - USSR, circa 1930

Anonymous photographer, USSR (c. 1930)

Anonymous photographer - IRA, 1973

Anonymous photographer, IRA (1973)

Anonymous photographer - La Pasionaria, Dolores Ibarruri - Spanish War, 1936

Anonymous photographer, La Pasionaria, Dolores Ibarruri, Spanish War (1936)

Anonymous photographer - Spanish War, 1936

Anonymous photographer, Spanish War (1936)

Anonymous photographer - Spanish War, 1936

Anonymous photographer, Spanish War (1936)

Anonymous photographer - Yvonne André, anarchist activist Pré-Saint-Gervais (Butte du Chapeau Rouge) France, May 25, 1913

Anonymous photographer, Yvonne André, anarchist activist Pré-Saint-Gervais (Butte du Chapeau Rouge), France (May 25, 1913)

Anonymous photographer -  Azerbaijan, 1920

Anonymous photographer, Azerbaijan (1920)

Femmes au Combat continues at the Galerie Lumière des Roses in (12-14 Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau, Montreuil, France) through January 30, 2015.

By: Hyperallergic
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries
Source: http://j.mp/1sG4A8h

The Cold War and Spider Webs (1947)

JF Ptak Science Books  Quick Post

Blanche Murray wrote this short pamphlet in 1947, the designer completing the cover in the Russian-spider/American-fly motif. Ms. Murray was trying to warn the U.S. that World War III was “happening now” and that Russia had crept into the U.S. on “cushioned paws”.

Russia War US479


The author was more or less correct in the WWIII part, though not so much in the creeping Commie part–my quick-browse didn’t find any “Cold War” reference exactly, but that is what she was talking about there in 1947, two years before the Soviets had their own nuclear weapons (with the so-called Joe-1 shot) and three years before the Korean War began. Mr. Orwell called it in October 1945:

“For forty or fifty years past, Mr. H. G. Wells and others have been warning us that man is in danger of destroying himself with his own weapons, leaving the ants or some other gregarious species to take over. Anyone who has seen the ruined cities of Germany will find this notion at least thinkable. Nevertheless, looking at the world as a whole, the drift for many decades has been not towards anarchy but towards the reimposition of slavery. We may be heading not for general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity. James Burnham’s theory has been much discussed, but few people have yet considered its ideological implications — that is, the kind of world-view, the kind of beliefs, and the social structure that would probably prevail in a state which was at once unconquerable and in a permanent state of ‘cold war’ with its neighbors.”–George Orwell, Tribune 19 October 1945 (“You and the Atomic Bomb”) Here, via Project Gutenberg. 

In any event I like the cover design, which is probably the best part of the pamphlet. Sometimes that is all you really need.  

By: Ptak Science Books
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries
Source: http://j.mp/1ztLTVZ

Bubble Aeronautics

JF Ptak Science Books  Quick Post

CV Boys (1855-1944), the great experimentalist and all-around physicist/mechanic, wrote a classic book on bubbles in 1889 that found success and went through several editions—the bubble book not surprisingly was called Soap Bubbles and it was a fascinating journey through the world of bubbles and was they were indeed so fascinating and better called “bubbles” to the popular mind rather than “rotating films”. Late in life (and 53 years after the publication of the book) in the October 17, 1942 edition of the journal Nature Boys writes a funny little note called “A Flight of Pure Imagination” which is illustrated by a photograph Boys’ made in 1912 showing an aeronaut in a gondola of a big bubble balloon. It is a wonderful picture and accompanied by a nice verse about Boys, who for some reason, 30 years later, decided to republish his “permissible diversion”.   


By: Ptak Science Books
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries
Source: http://j.mp/1ztLToQ