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badges in anodized & coated aluminum, st.steel

For the ongoing PhD enquiry “Pharmakos”,
research was conducted at historical archives, where cases of social injustice and oppression had been documented. The investigation looked into the design evolution of wearable signs, worn as indicators to systematize and marginalize human bodies during the WWII.

The work draws its title from administration letters of the time and it appropriates and subverts the black triangle ; a sign which was assigned to any prisoner classified as “asocial”. Thus, the work attempts to reverse it into an honouring distinction.

Historically, the pink triangle is a well-known protest emblem used by LGBTQ movements. That too, was invented by the Nazis as a derogating sign against homosexuals. A lesser-known aspect though, is that the pink triangle was intended for men only. The homosexual female bodies were classified as “asocial”  (mostly, but not always). A grouping which targeted numerous sub-identities that spanned from homeless to non-conformist women to any behaviour that transgressed the top-down guidelines. The black triangle is considered historically the most feminized category of the WWII.

Following common strategies of socio-political dissent, such as appropriation and subversion, and while acknowledging similar locations of thought emerging globally today, the work proposes statement-pieces that speak of resilience, emancipation and self-determination of the female body.

2020 / Vivi Touloumidi


all images and texts © Vivi Touloumidi 2010-2021