This queer Jewish photographer resisted the Nazis and escaped death—and made great art


Claude Cahun, Self-Portrait, 1928.

For Claude Cahun, resisting normalcy was a lifelong pursuit. Born in 1894, she was a genderqueer pioneer, Jewish Nazi fighter, and radical collage artist. The French photographer’s self-portraits are a focused interrogation of identity and gender fluidity. Rediscovered in the 1990s, her work reminds us that the impact of one person’s refusal can ripple for centuries.

The daughter of prominent Jewish publishers, Cahun was born…

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