Politics of Patents

A clothing rack with two metal hangers, one holding a dark grey sleeveless shirt. The rack sits against a blank white wall.

Politics of Patents (POP): Re-imagining citizenship via clothing inventions 1820-2020 is a powerful project that explored tensions related to clothing and citizenship.

The Politics of Patents project asks the following questions:

What can clothing inventions tell us about citizenship?
– How have clothing inventors attempted to change the world stitch by stitch?
– What kinds of citizens are made possible or re-imagined through clothing inventions?
– Can clothing inventions be read as acts of political resistance, contestation or subversion?
– What might a study of clothing inventions reveal about citizenship in the past, today & the future?

“We aim to bring to life, in archival research, stories and costumes, lesser-known and forgotten attempts by inventors to radically re-imagine or reinforce ideas around citizenship through clothes.”

The POP team has made a short film titled “Women on the Move,” in collaboration with The Adventure Syndicate and Mór Diversity. The film is based on the open-access article Convertible, multiple and hidden: The inventive lives of women’s sport and activewear 1890–1940,” written by Kat Jungnickel (Goldsmiths University of London), POP’s Primary Investigator.

Check out the trailer below, and then head over to their project website to watch the full film (approx. 25 min long), as well as to find blog posts and research articles about this exciting project!

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