Seeds Renamed

The scientific endeavours of the 18th and 19th centuries to systematise nature are closely entwined with the colonisation of the world by European nations; indeed, they correlate with the notion that nature and various peoples and regions of the world had supposedly been devoid of culture and history and needed to be ‘civilised’ and ‘cultivated’. This colonialist and patriarchal perspective is illustrated by the botanical plant names that are still in use today, derived as they are from the names of the explorers who ‘discovered’ them.

As a riposte to this established systematic classification, Ines Doujak has attributed new names to 116 materials from her ‘Nature Collection’. The artist has written and compiled short biographies of revolutionary women from history and the present. In her exhibition Landscape Painting at KUNST HAUS WIEN the collected natural materials are exhibited with their new names. The stories behind the names can be read here.

ID_2021-Kunsthaus-Wien-015Ines Doujak, Landschaftsmalerei, Hypatia (crescit virtus admonendo), 2021

  • La Pola

    (et milliens mortem fortiter patiam)

    Policarpa ‘La Pola’ Salavarrieta was born in 1795 to a well-off Creole family in what is now Colombia. Known as ‘La Pola’, she became a key figure in the movement for independence from Spain. More
  • Miriam

    (cor a corde)

    Miriam Daly (1928–1980) was an Irish economic historian and socialist republican, who taught at universities in Ireland and England. She was murdered in her home by a British-controlled death squad in Belfast in 1980. More
  • Dayang-dayang


    Felipa ´Dayang-dayang´ Culala was a Filipina guerilla commander who led one of the earliest guerrilla attacks against the Japanese occupation on March 8, 1942. It was an especially hard time for women. More
  • Hevrin

    (pro futura vera)

    Hevrin Khalaf (1982-2019) was a Kurdish-Syrian politician and civil engineer. Khalaf served as the Secretary General of the Future Syria Party after working for many years in Rojava and was killed by Turkish-backed Ahrar al-Sharqiya fighters during the 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria on 12 October. More
  • Céleste

    (vento similis equus me portat)

    Céleste Venard Comtesse de Chabrillan (1824–1909) stunt rider extraordinaire at the Paris Hippodrome in the mid 19th century and later a writer of memoirs, plays, and novels who set up a women’s paramedical organization during the Prussian siege of the city in 1870. More
  • Artemisa

    (futura nostra iuncta est)

    Artemisa ´Xakriabá´ Barbosa Ribeiro is a 19-year-old climate activist born in São João das Missões in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. More
  • Florence

    (nec ventum cura nec pluviam)

    Florence Matomela (1910–1969) was a teacher and political activist from Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. She was one of the first women volunteers in the 1952 Defiance Campaign. More
  • Hypatia

    (crescit virtus admonendo)

    Hypatia of Alexandria (ca. 355–415/416) was a philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, then part of the Eastern Roman Empire, from the 4th into the 5 th century AD. More
  • Pedro

    (legio omnis mulierum)

    Petra ´Pedro´ Herrera (1887–1916) During the Mexican Revolution, female soldiers known as soldaderas went into combat along with the men although they often faced abuse. More
  • Vanessa

    (pervigiliae surge)

    Vanessa Nakate (*1996) is a climate change activist from Uganda where extreme weather events including exceptionally high temperatures are starting to show real negative effects. More
  • Agnes

    (filia mundi)

    Agnes Smedley (1892–1950) As a child she witnessed the intense conflict of the 1903-4 miner’s strike in Colorado, U.S.A. As a young adult she was introduced to a socialist milieu and became absorbed in the Indian nationalist struggle against British rule. More
  • Nwanyeruwa

    (enumera capras, oves gentesque)

    Nwanyeruwa, an Igbo woman in Nigeria, sparked a short war that is often called the first major challenge to British authority in West Africa during the colonial period More
  • Margo

    (a fornicatione improbitas nulla)

    Margo St. James (1937–2011) was one of the most prominent rights advocates for sex workers, devoting her life to the cause of decriminalizing prostitution and destigmatizing its practitioners. More
  • Käthe

    (uxoribus otium numquam)

    Käthe Leichter (1895–1942) was the foremost socialist feminist in “Red Vienna” during the interwar years. A politician, labour organizer and author, with a doctorate in political economy, she directed women’s affairs for the Viennese Chamber of Workers. More
  • Marsha

    (noli curare)

    Marsha P. Johnson, who would tell people the "P" stood for pay it no mind, was an outspoken transgender rights activist and is reported to have been one of the central figures of the historic Stonewall uprising of 1969. More
  • Máxima

    (semper invicta sum)

    Máxima Acuña Many of the people killed defending land from grabs were women and many of those die in Latin America. Even if you win fame in the West for winning the Goldman Environmental Prize you can still be beaten up. More
  • Lakshmi

    (et procedet pugna)

    Lakshmi Sahgal (1914–2012), known as “Captain Lakshmi”, was a revolutionary of the Indian independence movement, an officer of the Indian National Army, and later the Minister of Women’s Affairs in the Azad Hind government. More
  • Ameyo

    (ad maius bonum publicum)

    Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh (1956–2014) was the Lead Consultant physician and endocrinologist at a hospital in Lagos. When in 2012 H1N1 (swine flu) spread to Lagos, Nigeria Dr. Adadevoh was the first doctor to diagnose it and alert the Ministry of Health. More
  • Hêlîn

    (pugnans pro libertate)

    Anna ´Hêlîn Querecox´ Campbell was a British queer-feminist anarchist and internationalist who volunteered and fought with the mostly Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) fighting against ISIS in its Deir ez-Zor stronghold in Syria. More
  • Amrita

    (ipsarum imaginem pauperibus praebe)

    Amrita Sher-Gil (1913–1941) was a painter who in a very short life transformed art in then colonial India both in style, absorbing pre-colonial modes, and content, in that her main subjects were poor rural people and especially women. More
  • Jayaben

    (leones sumus, demordenti caput capabiles)

    Jayaben Desai (1933–2010) was the de facto leader of a two-year long strike for union recognition that began in 1976 at the Grunwick’s photo processing plant in London where nearly all female workers were South Asian displaced from East Africa. More
  • Seyran

    (novas res sexuales necesse)

    Seyran Ateş (*1963) is a lawyer and feminist Muslim who has been attacked and threatened for her professional defence of women and for confronting a patriarchal and reactionary Turkish Islamic world in Germany. More
  • Flora

    (proletarii proletarius coniunx)

    Flora Tristan (1803–1844) was a French-Peruvian socialist writer and activist who argued that the progress of women's rights was directly related to the progress of the working class. More
  • Haudenosaunee

    (lex sumus)

    Haudenosaunee women say, Man didn’t create the Earth; woman did. Their creation story of Sky Woman, who made Turtle Island from a handful of dirt when she danced on it is a striking contrast to Judaic-Christian creation myth. More
  • Rosalind, Lise

    (scientia vitae iuncta)

    Rosalind Franklin (1920–1958) was an exceptionally serious chemist who died at the age of 37 from ovarian cancer having done a lifetime of ground-breaking work. More
  • Maria

    (poena stupratori victimis refugium)

    Maria da Penha (*1945), a women’s rights activist, helped to pass a law that increased punishments for domestic abuse offenders, created specialized courts for these crimes and opened 24-hour shelters for survivors. More
  • Naziha

    (scopus communis)

    Naziha al Dulaimi (1923–2007) When she graduated as a medical doctor at the Royal College of Medicine in Baghdad, Iraq in 1941, Naziha was already a committed feminist and communist and she went on to found the Iraqi Women's League. More
  • Boudica

    (domina princeps irata)

    Boudica In the 1st century A.D. a native rebellion shook a remote corner of the Roman Empire: Britain. At its head was an angry woman, Boudica, Queen of the Iceni, a tribe that dwelled in what is now eastern England. More
  • Phoolan

    (regina latronum)

    Phoolan Devi (1963–2001), the Indian "Bandit Queen", is remembered as both a champion of India's poor and one of the modern nation's most infamous outlaws. More
  • Ala, Roza, Regina, Estusia

    (fortiter et audaciter)

    In 1945 four women were hanged in the Auschwitz concentration camp for their role in a prisoner rebellion. Ala Gertner stole gunpowder from the munitions factory where she was an enslaved labourer, which she passed on to underground resistance member Roza Robota who got it to Soviet Jewish detainees. More
  • Louise

    (nolite petere, sua sumete)

    Louise Michel (1830–1905) was a French anarchist who fervently preached revolutionary socialist themes. Rejecting parliamentary reform, she believed in sensational acts of violence and advocated class war. More
  • Lizzie, Selina, Laura, Edith, Cissy, Dora, and many

    (ineunte rebellens, terrifica exivi)

    Lizzie Berkley, a suffragette “fustian-clothing machinist,” was arrested as one of the women fighting 500 police who were preventing them from reaching the Parliament building to demand votes for women. More
  • Gloria

    (finis terrae)

    Gloria Anzaldúa (1942–2004), a self-described “chicana dyke-feminist, tejana patlache poet, writer, and cultural theorist,” was born to field-worker parents in the South Texas Rio Grande valley. More
  • Queen Nzinga

    (regina victrix)

    Queen Nzinga (1583–1663) In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, city states along the Central African coast began to be of interest to Portuguese Atlantic slave traders who established a fort at Luanda in present-day Angola in 1617. More
  • Charlotte

    (sit vox mulieribus nigris)

    Charlotte Maxeke (1874–1939) was South Africa's first female black graduate and one of the first to fight for freedom from exploitation, and for improved social conditions for African women. More
  • Bartolina

    (mulieribus potestas)

    Bartolina Sisa (1753–1782) was Aymarán and together with her husband Tupac Katari and sister-in-law Gregoria Apaza, she led an indigenous uprising against the Spanish in Bolivia at the head of an army of some 40,000, which laid siege to the city of La Paz in 1781. More
  • Leila

    (flamma vitae)

    Leila Khaled (*1944) brought the Palestinian struggle to the world’s attention by means of two dramatic plane hijackings in 1969 and 1970, in which no one but one of her own comrades was killed, the American-Nicaraguan Patrick Arguello. More
  • Alice

    (furium femininarum collegium)

    Alice Diamond (1896–1952) was born in working class South London at the end of the 19th century and went on to become the effective organiser of the Forty Thieves from when she was 20, and was sometimes called their Queen in succession to Polly Carr. More
  • bell

    (unitas vera omnium mulierum)

    bell hooks (*1952) is a pseudonym, the name of her great-grandmother, to honour female legacies; she prefers to spell it in all lowercase letters to focus attention on her message rather than herself. More
  • Tereza

    (servitudini domesticae redire nolunt)

    Tereza de Benguela During the 18th century she led the political, economical and administrative structure of the Quilombo do Piolho, a settlement of Afro-Brazilian people who freed themselves from enslavement. More
  • Bouboulina

    (audax nunquam recedit)

    Laskarina ´Bouboulina´ Pinotsi (1771–1825) was born in a jail in Constantinople (Istanbul) when Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire and her father implicated in a plot against it. More
  • Maria

    (eae nulla femina par erit)

    Maria Spiridonova (1884–1941) At a young age, she joined the Social Revolutionaries (SRs) in Russia, an organisation aiming to overthrow the Tsarist regime to establish an egalitarian society based on the peasantry of the country, its great majority. More
  • Lucy

    (officinae occupandae sunt)

    Lucy Parsons (1851–1942) was described by the Chicago Police Department as "more dangerous than a thousand rioters”. Born into slavery in Texas in 1851 she married Albert Parsons, a radical ex-soldier. More
  • Lucía

    (societas sine classibus)

    Lucía Sánchez Saornil (1895–1970) was a main founder of the Spanish anarcha-feminist federation Mujeres Libres. She was open about being a lesbian at a time when homosexuality was criminalized and subject to censorship and punishment. More
  • Winona

    (sumus in statu belligerante)

    Winona LaDuke (*1959) is a leading voice on the fight against climate change. She founded organisations like the Indigenous Women's Network and the White Earth Land Recovery Project, and co-founded Honor the Earth with the Indigo Girls. More
  • Sophie

    (et sis sola convictioni tuae consurge)

    Sophie Scholl (1921–1943) German revolutionary Sophie Scholl was a founding member of the non-violent anti-Nazi resistance group The White Rose, which advocated for active resistance to Hitler’s regime through an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign. More
  • Tina

    (subtilitate firma)

    Tina Modotti (1896–1942), an Italian immigrant seamstress born at the end of the 19th century, was a classic “citizen of the world.” After starring in the Californian theatre and silent films up to 1920, she became a now-celebrated photographer based in Mexico City. More
  • Tussy

    (in politicis theatrum gravis)

    Eleanor ´Tussy´ Marx (1855–1898), the youngest daughter of Karl and Jenny Marx, spent much of her childhood in her father’s study while he was writing Das Kapital. But she was a socialist revolutionary in her own right. More
  • Juana

    (quae liberavit patriam)

    Juana Azurduy (1780–1862) was one of Latin America’s most important revolutionary war heroes. In a six-year period, she fought in 23 battles across Bolivia, Peru and Argentina that helped liberate the region from the Spanish at great personal cost. More
  • Mary

    (ius mulierum vindicanda est)

    Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797) is one of the world’s first feminist writers and thinkers laying the foundations for much of contemporary feminist philosophy. She is best remembered for her treatise A Vindication of the Rights of Women, published in 1792. More
  • Cilli

    (oportet te posse sustinere)

    Luzia ´Cilli´ Doujak (1905–1992) survived two World Wars, hunger, alcoholic husbands, the early death of her son, discrimination as a Carinthian Slovenian and as an active member of the Communist Party. More
  • Paradise

    (viam faciunt aliis)

    Paradise Sorouri is Afghanistan's first female rapper, an honour that comes with some risks. Writing and performing songs that focus on gender inequality in her country Sorouri has endured death threats and physical attacks for her music and activism. More
  • Esraa

    (in Utopia miracula)

    Esraa Abdel Fattah (*1978) started a Facebook group in 2008 in support of a textile workers’ strike in Egypt. Her activism gained her fame – and landed her in jail. More
  • Olympe

    (viam ad equalitatem sternens)

    Olympe de Gouges (1748–1793), a French proto-feminist, was one of the main voices criticising the French Revolution for failing to consider women’s interests. More
  • Sojourner

    (nonne et ego mulier?)

    Sojourner Truth (1797–1883), an abolitionist and women’s rights activist, was born into slavery in New York in 1797. Since this state did not abolish slavery until 1827, Truth chose to escape with her young daughter in 1826, leaving her son behind. More
  • Pagu

    (belluam capitalismi nutriens)

    Patricia ´Paixão Pagu´ Galvão (1910–1962) was an artist, writer, journalist, and militant revolutionary. As an activist in the workers’ struggle, she was imprisoned and tortured many times. More
  • Nawal

    (veritas periculosa feraque)

    Nawal al-Sadaawi (1931–2021) The Egyptian medical doctor, feminist and writer was the founder and president of the Arab Women's Solidarity Association. As a pan-Arab nationalist as well as a feminist she has lived between a rock and a hard place, but remained politically active. More
  • Anna

    (panem et rosas)

    Anna LoPizzo The 1912 Lawrence Textile strike against American Woolen Co. is known as Bread and Roses. It followed previous wage cuts and a speed-up of work. The Polish women workers walked out, and within a week 30,000 newly immigrant workers joined them. More
  • Gladys Iola

    (medicinae herbaricae magistra)

    Dr. Gladys Iola Tantaquidgeon was a Mohegan medicine woman, anthropologist, author, tribal council member, and elder based in Connecticut born a few months before the 20th century and lived right through it, dying at the age of 106. More
  • Vanny

    (municipium domumque defendens)

    Vanny Tep Standing as a symbol of peace activism in Cambodia, she is currently serving a jail sentence for daring to defend her community. Across a decade, Vanny spearheaded many peaceful protests against the government and private companies. More
  • Margarita

    (unio et progressus neque deditio)

    Margarita Martinez was a Mexican textile worker at the French-owned Rio Blanco factory in Pueblo at the beginning of the 20th century during the last years of the Porfirio Diaz dictatorship. More
  • Qiu

    (venenatum millennium depurgo)

    Qiu Jin (1875–1907) In 1904, Qiu Jin, a wealthy Chinese wife, mother, poet, and feminist, tired of the severe patriarchal restraints placed on her intellectual and political development, left her family behind and went to Japan to enrol in college and meet with like-minded Chinese revolutionaries. More
  • Chelsea

    (memet ipsam definiendi potestas mea est)

    Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, born Bradley Edward Manning in 1987, is an American activist and courageous whistleblower. She is a former United States Army soldier who was convicted by court-martial in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and other offences. More
  • Aphra

    (you shall hear from me / a me audies)

    Aphra Behn (1640–1689) was a 17th century English playwright, poet, translator and fiction writer from the Restoration era. As one of the first English women to earn her living with her writing, she overcame cultural barriers and served as a literary role model for later generations of women authors. More
  • Kate

    (tremor magistratu orbis)

    Kate Sharpley, born in Deptford in London, was an anarchist and anti-war activist during the World War I. She worked in a munitions factory and was active in the shop steward movement of the trade union. More
  • Heiza

    (vindicatio et retributio)

    Heiza Shankal was kidnapped along with thousands of other Yazidi women and children when ISIS swept across Iraq in a brutal campaign in the summer of 2014. Around 50,000 members of the long-persecuted religious and ethnic group were trapped when ISIS besieged Mount Sinjar. More
  • Ruth

    (equalitas non impleta est)

    Joan Ruth Bader (1933–2020) was a lawyer for 27 years, and who until her death in 2020 sat on the U.S. Supreme Court, only the second woman to hold the position and the first Jewish person. Born in Brooklyn, she worked through law school as a mother. More
  • Lee

    (instrumenta non sumus)

    Lee So-sun (1929–2011) As a mother she became a determined organiser of women machinists in the Korean textile industry in the 70s and 80s whi en her son Chun Tae-il died after self-immolating in protest at its working conditions. More
  • Sotiria

    (vita plena)

    Sotiria Bellou (1921–1997) was a singer of Rembetika, which has been called the Greek blues though very different musically and more overtly outsider music. Ostracised by her family, she arrived in Athens as the World War II started. More
  • Queen Nanny

    (curat benevolentia)

    Nanny of the Maroons, sometimes called Queen Nanny, lived from around 1686 to 1755 and was a leader of the Windward Maroons, formerly enslaved Africans in Jamaica who had escaped the plantations and set up their own communities in the mountains. More
  • Marm

    (honestas cleptum)

    Fredericka ´Marm´ Mandelbaum (1825–1894) was a German Jewish woman who emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1850. She and her husband opened up a dry goods store and used it as a front to act as the top fence of stolen goods in New York City. More
  • Sylvia

    (vita felix et pulchra)

    Sylvia Pankhurst (1882–1960) Of the Pankhurst family of suffragettes for women’s suffrage, Sylvia was the real revolutionary. She trained as an artist and in her work portrayed working class women. More
  • Hedy

    (omnia tentato)

    Hedy Lamarr (1914–2000) was a Vienna-born actress, hailed as “the most beautiful woman in the world” in her time. But she was also an inventor of what is the basis for all modern wireless communications: signal hopping. More
  • Ramona

    (quaerentes iustitiam)

    Comandanta Ramona (1959–2006) As well as fighting for women’s rights, she was an active member of the Zapatista movement in Chiapas and led the 1994 San Cristóbal de las Casas uprising in response to Mexico’s involvement in NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). More
  • Mileva

    (sit narrata opus commune)

    Mileva Einstein-Marić (1875–1948) We shall never know the degree to which Albert Einstein’s ground breaking work in physics depended on his collaboration with Mileva, his Serbian first wife and a mathematician with a flair for applied physics. More
  • Dona Nina

    (limina disrumpenda sunt)

    Laudelina ´Dona Nina´ de Campos Melo, an Afro-Brazilian activist whose parents had been born as slaves until the law changed in 1871, was born in 1904 but had to leave school at age 12 to look after the family so her mother could go out to work after her father was killed in an industrial accident. More
  • Ahed

    (victima non fuero)

    Ahed Tamimi is now a 20-year-old Palestinian from the village of Nabi Salih in the occupied West Bank. When she was only 16 she was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier at a demonstration in her village opposing the expansion of Israeli settlements close by. More
  • Marielle

    (e bitumine repugnantiae rosae)

    Marielle Franco 1979–2018) As a Black, bisexual woman raised in Rio de Janeiro’s Maré favela she worked from the age of eleven and then as a single mother on a minimum wage. She campaigned against gender violence, police brutality, militarisation and for reproductive rights. More
  • Maria

    (mulier audax)

    Maria Kaslenikava (*1982) is a musician of renown, a flautist who has mastered early instruments as well as a conductor. As of now she is in a Belarusian prison in pre-trial detention for being part of the women forming a team supporting Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. More
  • La Bentley

    (in normis exceptio)

    Gladys ´La Bentley` was a non-conforming icon of the 1920s. Born in Philadelphia in 1907, she moved to New York at age sixteen after being harassed in her community for dressing in boys’ clothes and not hiding a liking for girls. More
  • Fikile

    (pro populo mori)

    Fikile Ntshangase was murdered in front of her 11-year-old grandson in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, at the end of 2020. She was a strong defender of her community and as such a vocal opponent of the Somkhele coal mine on the border of one of Africa’s oldest game parks, Hluhluwe-i Mfoloz. More
  • Enisa

    (inclamans daemonia)

    Enisa is a Bosniak woman survivor of multiple rape during the war against Bosnia in the 1990s who has the courage to speak of her experience as it would otherwise be written out of history. Rape is and has been a strategic “tactic” of war and was part of the “ethnic cleansing” strategy of the Bosnian Serbs. More
  • Lina

    (vera libertas non nisi communis)

    Lina Bo Bardi (1914–1992) was an Italian-born Brazilian architect who promoted the social and cultural potential of architecture while embracing Brazil’s vernacular design and working continuously in that country despite the challenges of being accepted by local architects as both a woman and a “foreigner.” More
  • María Sabina

    (quasi mulier codex sum)

    María Sabina Magdalena García (1894–1985), a Mazatec shaman, a sabia (one who knows) was the first to allow Westerners to participate in the healing ritual known as the velada where all participants ingest psilocybin mushroom as a sacrament to open the gates of the mind. More
  • Sunitha

    (ignominia stuprum ferentibus)

    ha Krishnan is the co-founder of Prajwala, an Indian NGO that rescues and helps sex-trafficked victims. She was motivated by herself being gang-raped as a fifteen-year-old by eight men while working on a literacy programme for the Dalit community. More
  • Jelena, Marija, Ravijojla

    (fight fascists because they are fascists)

    Jelena Vitas was born in Sarajevo in 1919. After Nazi Germany and the Croatian Fascist Ustaša regime occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1941, she became very active in the Communist-led National Liberation Movement, led by Josip Broz Tito. More
  • Wildfire

    (libera in perpetuum)

    Mary Edmonia ´Wildfire´ Lewis (1844–1907), was a 19th century African-American sculptor, of mixed African-American and Native American (Ojibwe) heritage. As the first Black-Native sculptor of either sex to achieve international recognition within a Western sculptural tradition, Lewis was a symbolic social anomaly. More
  • La Maupin

    (quodcumque incende)

    Julie d’Aubigney (ca. 1670–1707) was a late 17th century multitalented French adventuress – also known as La Maupin when exercising one of her talents as an opera singer. She was also a cross-dressing swordsman and duellist who once set a nunnery on fire so she could rescue her girlfriend. More
  • Nora

    (quondam veritatem videnti tibi dies veniet)

    Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan `Nora Baker` (1914–1944) was a wireless operator dropped into occupied France by parachute from a British plane to work with elements of the French Resistance. More
  • Yay

    (coniugium nostrum bellum fuit)

    Valeria ´Yay´ Panlilio was a Filipina-Irish-American journalist and broadcaster who came to Manila before World War II. She fled the city to escape the Japanese invaders. In the mountains of Rizal Province, she met Major Marcos "Marking" V. Agustin and ended up helping him lead his army of guerrillas against the Japanese. More
  • Ursula

    (pro alternatione structurae politicae)

    Ursula Le Guin who died in 2018 was a socialist feminist writer who took the popular and usually male genres of science fiction and fantasy and made them her own as well as publishing four books of essays, poetry, translations, and children’s books. More
  • Rasuna

    (imperii nimis amplificatio nefas)

    Rasuna Said (1910–1965) was a “lioness” (singa betina) of the Indonesian independence movement against Dutch colonial power. A Muslim woman identified with the Minangkabau matrilineal ethnic group, she was first woman to be arrested in 1932 for “sowing hatred” against the Dutch. More
  • Josephine

    (mea sponte faciam)

    Josephine Cochrane (1839–1913) The inventor of the first automated dishwasher, which along with the washing machine and vacuum cleaner has done so much for women’s lives, was born in 1839 in Ohio, U.S.A. More
  • Jabu

    (fulgores in anima sua)

    Jabu Ndlovu was a trade union activist who became a shop steward for the NUM union at the Prestige factory in Imbali near Pietermaritzburg where she lived in Apartheid South Africa. More
  • Murasaki

    (diligentia florens)

    Murasaki Shikibu was a poet born in 10th century Japan who wrote what is believed to be the world’s first novel, The Tale of the Genji. It was the time of the Heian dynasty when Chinese was the language of government which women were traditionally excluded from learning. More
  • Micaela

    (nationi meae libertatem)

    Micaela Bastidas (1744–1781) was a pioneering Indigenous leader against Spanish rule in the Andean region of what is now Peru along with her husband who styled himself Tupac Amaru II after the celebrated Inca who the Spanish invader colonialists had executed some 200 years before. More
  • Alicia, Patrisse, Opal

    (respirare non possum)

    Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors und Opal Tometi are the co-founders of Black Lives Matter (BLM), which is a decentralized political and social movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people. More
  • Harriet

    (aut libera aut mortua)

    Harriet Tubman (1820–1913) Explaining her decision to escape from slavery, Harriet Tubman once quoted an earlier American revolutionary by saying, "There was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other." More
  • Forough

    (ventus nos portabit)

    Forough Farrokhzad (1934–1967), an Iranian modernist poet and film maker killed in a car crash in 1967 aged 33, and yet who in her short life produced three volumes of poetry that were feminist without assuming gender as a role or believing she must address feminist “issues.” More
  • Rose

    (vita nostra modica, peculium sanctum est)

    Rose Schneiderman (1882–1972), a daughter of Polish Jewish immigrants to New York, started to work with her widowed mother at the age of 13. In the clothing industry sweatshops the employees were under constant supervision. More
  • Constance

    (me occidendi habetote decentiam)

    Constance Markievicz (1868–1927) was born into the Anglo-Irish landowning gentry, but rejected her whole upbringing to be a revolutionary Irish nationalist, suffragette and socialist. As a young woman artist, she married a fellow bohemian who happened to be a Polish Count. More
  • Audre

    (tacentibus salus nulla)

    Audre Lorde (1934–1992) a self-described “black, lesbian, feminist, mother, poet, warrior," made lasting contributions to the fields of feminist theory, critical race studies and queer theory through her pedagogical work and writing. More
  • Blanca

    (felicem me sentio)

    Blanca Canales (1906–1996) was a Puerto Rican nationalist who helped organise the Daughters of Freedom, the women’s branch of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. She was one of the few women in history to have led a revolt against the United States. More
  • Kathleen

    (insidens humeris gigantum)

    Kathleen Neal Cleaver (*1945) was born into a well-educated black family, which didn’t stop a childhood friend being murdered by white racists. She was a member of the Black Panther Party in the U.S.A. and the first female member of the Party’s decision-making body. More
  • María

    (poculum lactis)

    María Elena Moyano (1958–1992) was an Afro-Peruvian feminist, community organiser, activist and mother of two who grew up in poverty. At the age of 25, she was elected president of the Federación Popular de Mujeres de Villa El Salvador, a federation of women from the shantytown Villa El Salvador. More
  • Nadezhda

    (solutio solidaritas est)

    Nadezhda Krupskaya (1869–1939) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and politician in the USSR. A Marxist from her youth she spent some years in Siberian exile and later went into exile in Europe. More
  • Berta

    (nil timemus)

    Berta Cáceres (1973–2016) The Honduran environmental and Indigenous land rights activist was assassinated in 2016 by men, including U.S.-trained Honduran special forces and men associated with a dam company, after years of receiving death threats for her activism. More
  • Malala

    (importantiam vocum non nisi oppressarum scimus)

    Malala Yousafzai (*1997) was, despite her youth, confronted with more adversity than many other thinkers and activists. On the afternoon of October 9, 2012, aged 15, she was shot by the Taliban. Seated on a bus heading home from school, Malala was talking with her friends about schoolwork. More
  • Mary Ann

    (amor libertatis)

    Mary Ann McCracken lived in the late 18th century and was an active Protestant supporter of the United Irishmen, the non-sectarian movement for Irish independence from British colonialism, while running a textile business with printed Muslins in Belfast. More
  • Sara

    (tota mea vita certamen erat)

    Sakine ´Sara´ Cansız was a co-founder of the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, and was killed in Paris in January 2013 by agents of the Turkish state in a targeted assassination, along with Fidan ´Rojbin´ Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez. More
  • Loujain

    (futura splendens)

    Loujain al-Hathloul, born in 1989, is a Saudi women's rights activist who was released from a Saudi prison after 1,000 days in early 2021 after pressure from the new Biden U.S. administration. More
  • Grete

    (indumentum rubrum quaero)

    Margarete ´Grete´ Schütte-Lihotzky (1897–2000) was a Viennese architect and Communist who put the ideas of equality and efficiency into her designs. She was, in 1916, the first-ever female student at what is now the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. More
  • Gráinne

    (kick ass)

    Gráinne Ní Mháille (Grace O'Malley) (1530–1603), born early in the 16th century, was the original Pirate Queen. As head of an important Irish family on the island’s Atlantic coast she operated off the coast at a time when the English invaders were strengthening their hold on the country. More
  • Naguset

    (I´m one of those raggedy-ass Indians)

    Annie Mae Aquash (1945–1975) Her Mi'kmaq name was Naguset Eask and she grew up in poverty as a tribal member from Nova Scotia, Canada. In the late 1960s she became involved in the Teaching and Research in Bicultural Education School Project (TRIBES). More