The Joan of Arc Complex – More

The virgin hero who was deemed as a witch and as such killed by fire, was also beatified a few centuries after by the church. The insanity behind the reappropriation of such an uncanny story goes even further. Although unique in many ways, the legend of Joan of Arc is reminiscent of an infinity of other stories involving a woman and a war fought by men.  Out of this vast array, we extracted ten iconic moments which illustrate the diversity and the constance of the fascination for heroic feminine behavior. However, it seems that this type of heroism has also been the object of instrumentalisation and control by those who profited the most from amplified social inequalities.

Zine cover and poster project by Thomas Perino

Could patriarchal feminism be at the core of a more widespread cultural complex? Every patriarchy needs heroic women to take over when a battle seems endless. Perhaps it is due to the common misconception that a matriarchy is just the inversion of the male-centered hierarchy we are so familiar with. Yet, perhaps heroic women figures are the hackers of the patriarchic matrix. Joan of Arc is the hero of everyone, even her own enemies wish to keep her memory alive. For this reason, snatching Joan back from hateful ideologies is a cultural crusade. At the core of the Joan of Arc Complex is the belief that the recovery of such universal icons can lead to the crossbreeding of imaginary realms.

The project was exhibited at the French Institute of Budapest for BD2020.


Project overview


Mario Amehou & Benjamin Efrati : English version + French translation

Anna Katalin Lovrity + Balazs Turai : Hungarian translation


-Cover art : Impénétrabilité, Thomas Perino

1-If you want peace, make war, Éva Katinka Bognár

2-Lower Paleolithic Neanderthal girl discovering shamanic powers, Benjamin Efrati

3-Ann Bonny, Assigned Pirate at Birth, Petra Lilla Marjai

4-Evgeniya Shakhovskaya, Russian military aircraft pilot, Anna Katalin Lovrity

5-Hua Mulan, Chinese fighter princess, Maja Szakadát

6-Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, Louise Lefort

7-Mary Reed, female pirate, Diego Verastegui

8-Last of the Dahomey Amazons, Zsuzsana Kreif

9-Huns burning a Witch, Balazs Turai

10-Joan of Arc as Maitreya, Eva Szombat