Sextremists, as the topless protest group Femen call themselves, gained considerable media coverage after initially being founded in 2008 in the Ukraine. From its original roots fighting against sex tourism and inequality in their native land Femen took to broadenning their fight to include the institutions and manifestations of patriarchy, dictatorship, religion and the sex industry.

The group was severly criticised and received physical threats after chainsawing a 13 foot high wooden cross in an act of protest against the power of the church, in central Kiev in August 2012. After that event Inna Shevchenko, a 24 year old journalism graduate from Kiev University and a key member of the movement, fled to France to seek political asylum and founded Femen international in the premises of a squatted theater in the neighbourhood of Goutte d’Or in Paris.

Femen continues to train activists in Paris, organize protests and, more and more, promote its movement worldwide. They have recently opened ten new branches in countries around the globe.

Leo Novel