Joan of Arc: Planning a Project
Jeanne D’Arc is a captivating figure. She was born in 1412 at the peak of the Hundred Years War. At the young age of 17, she had already made quite an impression and convinced the French pretendant to the throne, Charles IV, to let her accompany his Army and lead it into battle. She was wise beyond her years and fiercer than any woman they had ever met. With her influence and bravery, she changed the course of the British occupation and ultimately helped drive them out of France.
Judged to be a good and pious Christian by one court and a heretic and a witch by another, she was burned at the stake for wearing men’s clothes – despite the fact she had just helped them escape a bleak outcome at the hands of the English. Just before the battle, she received donations of all kinds of military protection and weapons from the Royal Court who saw her as their last hope.
This part about her being condemned for crossdressing was new to me, but it is true! (Even after they themselves outfitted her with the necessary battle attire.) She promised a Christian court to renounce her visions and stop wearing men’s clothes but then relented when her visions continued. She also turned back to wearing military (“men’s”) clothing in prison to prevent molestation, thus her sad and unwarranted death.
I have wanted to do a project on her for years, and when I met Ash Blight, I knew they would make a great Joan, and so planning began! I had the perfect location in mind: I have wanted to do a project at Fort Totten since I served there with the ARMY Reserves and discovered an historic artillery battery on the shores of Bayside Queens.
My assistant Lee and I went out to scout it and see about getting permission, which is when these preview photos were made. Stay tuned to see if it will be successful!