For the last few days i have been heavily emersed in some final projects/essays that are due in less than a week now, so i havent even really thought about posting. However, when i've been bored or distracted from said projects/essays, i have taken to googling photographs of prominent women in history. I'd would like to share with you and comment upon a few of my favs:
This is Anna Ahkmatova, a Russian poet who gained great noteriety during Joseph Stalin's reign of terror (post-WWII) for her anti-communist poetry. She was deeply touched by Stalin's reign, as her husband and son were both sent to work in the Gulags (terrible work camps). Unfortunately, in exchange for her sons freedom, Ahkmatova was forced to publish pro-Stalinist poetry by the state. She is an important figure in women's history due to the way in which the Stalinist regime used her maternal role to control her.
What struck me most about this photograph when it was shown in one of my lectures this week was how much i loved what she was wearing. It looks like this woman had some serious style, on top of some pretty awesome (and flexible) priorities.
I fell in love with Virginia Woolf when i read her short story "Kew Gardens" in my english class this semester, and subsequently studied her as a modernist writer (one of the first to employ a stream of consciousness, etc.) Something i love about both this photograph and the Anna Ahkmatova one is that they were photographed, seemingly, to showcase their nose bumps/prominent noses, something that would now been hidden from cameras.
I respect Virginia Woolf in that she was strong enough not just to write using innovative ideas (hello, she is considered one of the first feminist writers), and reject the established forms of Victorian literature, but also to even get up every morning for almost sixty years (and through two world wars!). You see, dear Virginia was severely depressed (skim her late journals: absolutely heartbreaking), and she ended up drowing herself in a river by wading in with stones in her pockets. In any photograph you will find of Virginia, she looks sad and defeated like this one. The is one photo (a later one, she looks about 50) in which she is semi-smiling, but she appears to basically be saying "fuck my life."
I just love how, in any photograph you find of Coco Chanel, her expression and demeanour screams "I AM SUCH A HUGE BITCH AND YOU FUCKING LOVE IT". I like to think i relate to her in this way. Oh yeah, fashion avant-garde icon blah blah yeah.
Marie Curie. Her life amazes me and i don't even know what number Radium is on the periodic table. Can you imagine what a genius this woman was? Her and her husband devoted their entire lives to science and discovery. If you can get your hands on a copy of the her documentation of discovering Polonium (which she named after her native country, Poland. So cute. i dunno why, i just think that's cute...) and Radium with her husband, READ IT. It's gorgeous. I think it's called "Obtaining Radium".
(all pictures were obtained through google image search)