Thursday, July 3, 2008
the return of the amazons: asgarda
i am completely entranced by Guillaume Herbaut's project "Le Retour des Amazones," set in Ukraine.
it focuses on a group of 150 women, led by Katerina Tarnouska, who call themselves "Asgarda" and seek to bring back the Amazon tribal tradition. they have been training as a militia and as a community for four years. (i didn't realize that the Scythian Amazons referenced in Greek myth actually came from the area that is now south Ukraine—these women trace their mythological heritage back to those ancient countrywomen.)
there's more going on here spiritually, and politically, too—as you can see from the t-shirt in the top photo, these women also idolize Yulia Tymoshenko, the icon of the Orange Revolution and leader of the Ukrainian "Fatherland" party. (there also seems to be a bit of a Xena: Warrior Princess fetish going on too, if this photo is any indication.)
it's totally fascinating, and i wish i knew more (also, reminds me of a book i just read, as well as other utopalyptic thoughts i've been having lately.) but for right now, Asgarda's story seems relatively untold, except in these photos. more info here.
really great stuff! the photographer, Herbaut has been labeled a member of the "poetic documentary" movement in French photojournalism, which perhaps explains why his visual approach seems to blend photojournalistic and fine art styles.
(more selections from the project available on PhotoShelter.)
p.s. click on the top image to see it bigger because it is so rad! i want a sickle (or a scythe). the subject's name is Marianna Revenko and she's a 19 year-old student.