Despoina

Despoina (δέσποινα) is the female ancient Greek word for despótēs. If refers to Heba Y Amin writing herself into megalomaniac projects initiated and promoted by different despots, dictators and other power-hungry male leaders, like draining the Mediterranean Sea, making the desert bloom and building a canal to paradise.
By appropriating these totalitarian projects, images and narratives, the despoina erases the tyrants from history, changes the colonial optics of archives, alters the dominating algorithms and reveals the women and geography objectifying powers.

The symbol used for the card is the flag of Amin’s «Operation Sunken Sea» (OSS). It is based on Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Farisi al-Istakhri’s 10th Century map of the Mediterranean Sea (in black) that is a connecting center between the shore of Africa and Europe, rather than the border, in which thousands of African emigrants are dying.

Despoina stands for a flip-flop inverting emancipation from the dominant absurd male narratives with humor into a positive female force.