By Andrew Butler
Jun 3, 2016
Phoolan Devi, popularly known as "Bandit Queen", was an Indian bandit and later a politician. Born to a low caste family in rural Uttar Pradesh, Devi's early years were characterised by numerous incidents of sexual abuse, followed by a criminal career she later became known for. At the age of 18 Devi was gang-raped by high-caste bandits after the gang she was part of was ambushed by rivals. As a result of this incident she became a gang leader in her own right and sought revenge. In 1981 Devi and her gang returned to the village where she had been raped and 22 Thakur caste villagers, including two of her rapists, were rounded up and executed. Find out more about Phoolan Devi here.
Emiliano Zapata Salazar was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution, the main leader of the peasant revolution in the state of Morelos, and the founder of the agrarian movement called Zapatismo. Zapata remains an iconic figure in Mexico, used both as a nationalist symbol as well as a symbol of the neo-Zapatista movement. Find out more here.
Julie d’Aubigny: sword-slinger, opera singer, and larger-than-life bisexual celebrity of 17th century France. Her life was a whirlwind of duels, seduction, graverobbing, and convent-burning so intense that she had to be pardoned by the king of France twice! Find out more here.
Alexandre Jacob, known as Marius Jacob, was a French anarchist illegalist. A clever burglar equipped with a sharp sense of humour, capable of great generosity towards his victims, he became one of the models for Maurice Leblanc's character Arsene Lupin. Find out more here.
Witwe Cheng was a former prostitute from Canton, she married the 1801 pirate leader Zheng Yi and bore him two sons. After his death, she agreed to an alliance with Zhang Baozai (Chang Pao, Cheung Po Tsai, 1786-1822), a popular pirate leader, he had originally been a fisherman's son, who was captured, trained and adopted by her husband. She made it to the fleet commander so played her husband's family and other leaders of the alliance, and married him a few years later. Together, they set a fairly strict code of conduct for pirates who tried to regulate the treatment of the civilian population. Theft, disobedience and rape were punished with death. Find out more here.
Francesc Ferrer founded the Escuela Moderna (The Modern School) to teach middle-class children radical social values. In 1906 he was arrested on suspicion of involvement with the anarchist Mateu Morral's attack on King Alfonso XIII and released uncharged over a year later. His school failed and closed while he was incarcerated. Early in the summer of 1908, after his release from jail, he wrote the story of the Modern School. The work was entitled The Origins and Ideals of the Modern School and was translated into English and published by the Knickerbocker Press in 1913. Following the declaration of martial law in 1909 during the Tragic Week, he was arrested and, having been found guilty after a lengthy trial, executed by firing squad at Montjuich Fortress in Barcelona on 13 October. Shortly after his execution, numerous supporters of Ferrer's ideas in the United States of America formed what were called Modern Schools, or Ferrer Schools, modeled after la Escuela Moderna. The first and most notable Modern School was formed in New York City in 1911, and then later a community was founded around a school, known as the Ferrer Colony and Modern School. Find out more here.
The incredible images featured here come from Outlaw Legend and are also available as stickers from Active Distribution.