Bare-breasted and crowned with flowers, perched on their high heels, Femen transform their bodies into instruments of political expression through slogans and drawings flaunted on their skin. Humour, drama, courage and shock tactics are their weapons.
Since 2008, this 'gang of four' – Inna, Sasha, Oksana and Anna – has been developing a spectacular, radical, new feminism. First in Ukraine and then around the world, they are struggling to obtain better conditions for women, but they also fight poverty, discrimination, dictatorships and the dictates of religion. These women scale church steeples and climb into embassies, burst into television studios and invade polling stations. Some of them have served time in jail, been prosecuted for ‘hooliganism’ in their home country and are banned from living in other states. But thanks to extraordinary media coverage, the movement is gaining imitators and supporters in France, Germany, Brazil and elsewhere.
Inna, Sasha, Oksana and Anna have an extraordinary story and here they tell it in their own words, and at the same time express their hopes and ambitions for women throughout the world.
A Movement of Free Women: Preface by Galia
Part I: The Gang of Four
1. Inna, a Quiet Hooligan 3
2. Anna, the Instigator 13
3. Sasha, the Shy One 24
4. Oksana, the Iconoclast 34
Part II: Action
5. ‘Ukraine Is Not a Brothel’ 43
6. No More Nice Quiet Protests 68
7. Femen Goes All Out 89
8. In Belarus: A Dramatic Experience 105
9. Femen Gets Radical 117
10. ‘I’m Stealing Putin’s Vote!’ 122
11. Naked Rather Than in a Niqab! 128
12. Femen France 150
13. Our Dreams, Our Ideals, Our Men 161
One Year Later: Afterword by Galia Ackerman 168