Medusa 2015

Backlit, Nottingham

Medusa 2015, Spray paint on assembled cardboard, 200  x 300 cm

"For this work, I had been looking at the place of women in war zones and the types of violence made to them, both symbolically (as in silencing) and in the reality of their bodies (rapes, mutilations ....). As a counter part to this, in 2014-2015, the female Kurdish fighters were very mediatised and even somehow romanticised by the European media, showing them as "badass amazons", H&M even releasing an outfit copied from their traditional clothing (the exploitation was denounced and abandoned).
The original image (unverified photo distributed by ISIS) for this work was found on internet while researching about this subject. It depicts an ISIS fighter holding the decapitated head of a woman, at the time said to be an emblematic Kurdish Peshmerga fighter, Rehana, who was mediatised for declaring having killed hundreds of ISIS militants.
Whether real or not, this shocking image appeared to me as revealing the worst aspects of the use of internet, while at the same time being very symbolic of the eternal fights for power between men and women. I see internet as a versatile collective mirror on our souls. It is a reflection of the chaotic nature of reality. The work suggests the ease with which we can interact with and share such horrific images."

© 2018 by Céline Siani Djiakoua

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