A Story of Revolutions

Between 20 October and 26 November 2014, the University of Portsmouth’s SPACE gallery will host ‘A Story of Revolutions’, an exhibition by Patrick Altes. Patrick Altes, a French artist born in Algeria, explores diaspora and identity in a body of work responding to a Leverhulme residency within the University of Portsmouth’s School of Languages and Area Studies, working with Dr. Natalya Vince. Themes include post colonialism, political manipulation and the dichotomy between oppressors and the oppressed.  The exhibition has already toured in Ireland, the UK and in Algeria – where Patrick was selected to participate in the Third Oran Biennale of Mediterranean Contemporary Art – and we are delighted to welcome the works ‘home’ to where it all began. The exhibition is open on weekdays 9am-5pm and admission is free. You are warmly invited to a ‘Meet the Artist’ event on Friday 14 November, 4-7pm at SPACE (Eldon Building West, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth PO1 2DJ) as well as a public talk given by Patrick on Tuesday 28 October at 4pm in Eldon North 0.20. This exhibition is included in a series of events organised by the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries and the Faculty of Humanities and Social […]

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The selling power of women in uniform: from the maquisardes of the Algerian War to Kurdish peshmerga fighters

In this post, Dr. Natalya Vince considers the popular obsession with female fighters, both today and in the past, and examines the gulf that often exists between the image and the reality of women in uniform. The role of Kurds in Iraq and Syria in fighting Islamic State (IS, alternatively known as ISIS, ISIL or Da‘ech) is currently a major focus in the international media. Particular attention has been paid to women fighters within the Kurdish forces. Last week, multinational retailer H&M was forced to issue an apology when an item from their autumn/winter 2014-15 collection – an olive green jumpsuit, styled with military boots and a high-waisted belt – was accused of tastelessly channelling ‘peshmerga style’ by imitating the kinds of outfits worn by female Kurdish soldiers. The Swedish fashion giant insisted that the similarities were purely coincidental – incidentally, the same claim of unfortunate coincidence was made (perhaps somewhat more convincingly) this August by the British sex toys and lingerie specialist Ann Summers, when they launched a new underwear range called ISIS. Images from H&M and AFP, reproduced on Al Arabiya News. Whilst we might find the incongruity of ISIS erotic underwear mildly amusing, it is not surprising […]

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