Meet Our True Heroines
As a part of the A-FENCE project in collaboration with Street Art Berlin and Covivio Real Estate, we are proud to present our 10 True Heroines: 10 women, some of whom you definitely know, who have inspired us to re-tell their stories on a construction fence in the center of Berlin Alexander Platz.
Marie Curie (1867 – 1934)
Marie Curie was a Polish-French physicist and chemist who pioneered the research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to ever win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields: physics and chemistry. She was also the first ever female lecturer at the University of Paris. She is a true inspiration, a pioneer, and an extremely intelligent and powerful woman whom we absolutely adore!
Laura Kövesi (1973 – present)
Laura Kövesi is the first European Public Prosecutor and the former chief prosecutor of Romania’s National Anticorruption Directorate, a position she held since 2013 until 2018. Prior to that office, she held a position in the High Court of Cassation and Justice as the Prosecutor General of Romania. What inspired us about her story is the immense power, trustworthiness, and intelligence that she must have for having occupied such respectful positions, and that’s being a woman, in Eastern Europe!
Kerstin Held (1975 – present)
Kerstin Held is a German public figure and author of ‘Mother Held’, a book describing her experiences of being a foster parent of 12 children, 10 of which are mentally challenged. Kerstin caught our attention because of her incredible kindness and tireless dedication towards providing mentally challenged children with care and love that they deserve.
Elena Gorolová (1969 – present)
Elena Gorolová is best known for her human right work and campaigning against forced sterilization of women. Originally of Roma origins and living in Czech Republic, Elena was forcefully sterilized after having given birth to her second child. We admire Elena’s bravery in her fight against power abuse and racism.
Maria Montessori (1870-1952)
Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator best known for the philosophy of education of the same name, as well as her writing on scientific pedagogy. Maria was one of the first women in Europe to enter a male-dominated profession (doctor), originally interested in studying engineering. Later however, she abandoned her medical practice in favor of establishing Montessori schools around the world. We admire her bravery to overcome gender stereotypes and societal expectations, and respect her work in creating children-focused educational programs.
Mother (a symbolic figure)
The Mother figure was originally a symbolic figure of Europe, because we believe in the European Union. However, we were asked by the real estate company behind the project to change the Europe figure into the Mother figure. In it, we commemorate all mothers around the globe: past, present, and future, who have brought children into this world, raising them with love, care, and dedication.
Jasmina Prpić (1954 – present)
Jasmina Prpić was born in the former Republic of Yugoslavia and studied Law in Sarajewo. During the conflict in Yugoslavia, she worked as a lawyer, but 2 years into the conflict she had to flee to Germany, where she now lives. In 2007, Jasmina founded Lawyers Without Borders, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people from difficult circumstances receive professional law services. For us, Jasmina is an example of a powerful woman who is trying to make this world a better place through providing professional services to people who do not have access to them, or who cannot afford them.
Sophie Scholl (1921 – 1943)
Sophie Scholl was a German student and anti-Nazi political activist, active within the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany. She and her brother Hans were captured by the Nazis while they were distributing anti-war leaflets at the university of Munich. As a result, she was executed by guillotine, at the age of 22 years old. For us, Sophie is a true hero. Imagine how brave she was to resist the most tyrannical and sadistic regime in the human history?
Jeanne d’Ark (1421 – 1431)
The official story of Jeanne goes like this: in the Middle Ages, young Jeanne saw a vision of archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine of Alexandria instructing her to support Charles VII as the new king of France and to help him get rid of the English rule late into the Hundred Years’ War. After having secured some victories under her inspirational speeches and support, Jeanne was captured by the enemy and brought to England to be burned at a stake, at the age of 19. Some years later, she is canonized by the pope, few centuries later she becomes the symbol of France.
Our version is the following: Jeanne, a peasant girl with no money, education, or connections, rises up the social ranks and leads battles for a man she loves and believes in. She is young, motivated, and smart. By the modern standards, Jeanne is an inspiring political activist, and that’s a woman born in the beginning of 15th century! If not captured by the enemy, we believe she would have became a high-ranking official in the court of Charles VII.
Svetlana Alekseeva (2000 – present)
Svetlana Alekseeva is a Russian model. What is so special about this girl, is that she is not your usual beauty queen, the way we’re used to thinking about it. When she was only 4 years old, she had a horrible accident which left her burned and scared on 50% of her body. To make matters worse, her father died shortly afterwards, and her mother neglected her due to drinking problems. Despite the set-backs and partially growing up in an orphanage, Svetlana realized her dream of becoming a model and even reunited with her mother, who now lives with her. We really appreciate this woman for being so brave and challenging our concepts of beauty and aesthetics, and we love her for her positivity despite very difficult life circumstances she had to endure!