The activist Wardrobe

Developed as an undergarment for military uniforms, the T-shirt has since gained
reputation as a tool to communicate political opinions, literally wearing your heart
on your sleeve.
This easy to manufacture, therefore inherently democratic garment started its
political career between the 1970´s and 80´s when designer like Vivienne
Westwood and Katharine Hamnett, changed the way we look at this rather
unspectacular piece of fashion history.
Harun Farocki used this tool as a way to underline his political standpoint in public
events.
Over the years, he had built up a collection of T-Shirts that now enable us to have a
look at the political map of an exceptional filmmaker, observer, and activist.
The exhibition As You See presents a selection of T-shirts, on the one hand, in the
dimension of impersonality, since these garments are both medial, conveying
meaning, and on the other hand, personal, worn on the body, where image and
text meet. Beyond this, the shirts in the exhibition form a curtain wall, separating
spaces.

P.A.I.G.C estudo, trabalho, luta // study, work, struggle


Partido Africano para a Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde (PAIGC; “African
Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde“
T-Shirt,in support of the liberation movements of Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau,
Angola and Zimbabwe.
Both african provinces have a longstanding colonial administration history,
terminated by the shift to seperate portuguese territorys in 1879. With the rise of
the African decolonization movement, their status was changed to “overseas
provinces” in 1951.
As this change was not precived as meaningful by the colonial population, the
PAIGC was founded in 1956 by the revolutionary leader and theoretician Amílcar
Cabral in an effort to unify Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde and peacefully overthrow
the remains of the colonial structures in the country. The PAIGC’s efforts where
answered in 1959 by the Portuguese with violent arrests, this lead to a shift in the
former violence free PAIGC, that the colonial, fascist regime could only be
overthrown with armed struggle - resulting in PAIGC’s first armed campaign in
1963. After the partys leader Cabral was assassinated in January 1973, Guinea-
Bissau declared independence from Portugal in September of the same year.

Palestine - Just do it!

The Division of the German Left and the Israel-Palestine Conflict as a Projection
Screen for a German Attitude Question.
The attitude of the German left has undergone a strong change since 1945.
After 1945, until 1967, solidarity was shown with the "socialist experiment of anti-
fascist Jews" (Israel) and after the 6-day war with the "victims of the victims"
(Palestine).
The shirt can be seen as a statement for the recognition of Palestine as a state.
Of course, the shirt also has an ironic and anti-globalist connotation, as it spins
Nikes slogan that everything is a matter of will.

You are right honey, this really sucks
Though the exact origin of the illustration is not clear, it does seem to reference
Roy Lichtenstein's works from the 1960s, often parodying societal phenomena of
his time.
The Illustration is depicting an ironic comment on the woman's role in the
household.

Free Pussy Riot


The female activist group “Pussy Riot” was founded in 2011 by Maria Alyokhina,
Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.
In protest of Putin's support for the Orthodox Church the group performed their
obscenity-laced song “Punk Prayer”, in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior in
February 2012.
The performance, which was broken up by Church officials, lead to the arrest of the
three members several weeks later, they were charged with "hooliganism
motivated by religious hatred".
Until the group was sentenced with two years in prison the 3 women, mothers of
young children were held without bail for several month.
In October 2012 Samutsevich was freed on probation, while the other two
remained in jail.

The public discussion about this case was split into two camps, with one side
claiming that the women were treated too harshly, to make an example and act
against the opposition.
On the other hand people perceived their art as a gross and as an offensive act
against the orthodox faith.

Ho Chi Minh (“He Who Enlightens”)


Ho Chi Minh, was the leader of the vietnamese nationalist movement, an importent
member of the post WW2 anti-colonial movement, and important leader of the
communist movement in the 20th century in Asia.
After his long and eventually successful efforts to declare Vietnam independent, he
became North Vietnams President from 1945 until 1969.
Coming from a small village in what used to be French Indochina, he travelled the
World as Cook on a FrenchShip, going by the name “Bo”.
He worked in London and later on in France interchangeably as a gardener,
sweeper, waiter, photo retoucher, and oven stoker, whilst already being an active
socialist, now going by the name of Nguyen Ai Quoc (“Nguyen the Patriot”)
After different stations in the world such as Russia, Canton the Indochinese
communist party was founded in Hong Kong 1930.
Arround 1940 he started going by the name “Ho Chi Minh” - “He who brings the
light”.
One year later the “League for the Independence of Vietnam” was founded.
In an effort to seek help from China, Ho was arrested by the chinese government
and sent to prision for 18 month because he was distrusted as a communist.
During his time in Prison he wrote his famous Notebook from Prison (a collection
of short poems written in classic Chinese, a mixture of melancholy, stoicism, and a
call for revolution.
After the allied victory in 1945, japanese forces had to withdraw from Vietnam.
The Viet Minh forces then seized Hanoi and declared a democratic state of Vietnam
( also known as North Vietnam), with Ho as the new President.

Frédéric Laffont

is a French reporter and documentary filmmaker. He won the Albert Londres
Prize for his report on daily life in Beirut during the war. Together with
Christophe de Ponfilly, he founded the press agency Interscoop and the feature
film production company Albert Films.

Rudi Dutschke Straße


Known as the German Che Guevara, the sociologist, theoretician and analyst Rudi
Dutschke, was the face of the student movement and the generation of 1968.
The student movement was a left-wing, socially critical political movement in the
Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin.
It emerged parallel to other student protests in the USA and Western Europe, which
are summarised as the '68 movement.
In Germany protests were directed against the outdated university system, the
grand coalition, the Vietnam War and it demanded an honest reappraisal of the Nazi
past.
Dutschke dealt extensively with Marxist and socialist theories by Lenin, Marx,
Lukács and wrote theories himself. He was one of the main representatives of the
"New Left" in the Federal Republic.
As a member of the Socialist German Student League (SDS), he was a speaker at
numerous demonstrations and congresses. Known for his flaming speeches he was
called a “Bürgerschreck” - someone who provokes intentionally through
unconventional behaviour.
In 1968 Dutschke was seriously injured in an assassination attempt on
Kurfürstendam in Berlin from right-wing extremist circles and died of the
consequences 11 years later.
The days following the assassination attempt, federal Germany experienced some
of the most extreme riots of that time. In Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Essen, the
vans of the Springer publishing house burned. Demonstrators threw Molotov
cocktails at the Springer skyscraper in Berlins Kochstraße.
The publishing house had been stirring up trouble against Dutschke and the
Student Movement, claiming it was necessary to “crackdown”, “forget about”, and
“eradicate” the perpetrators.
The Streetsign on the T-Shirt is showing the actual street sign of the “Rudi-
Dutschke-Straße” in Berlin, which is neighbouring “Axel-Springer-Straße”.

Formerly called Kochstraße, the renaming had been initiated by the newspaper
“TAZ” and was completed in 2008 with the unveiling of a Street sign in front of the
Axel-Springer High-rise, which to this day is part of the Springer publishing house.

Barack Obama


Barack Obama, in full Barack Hussein Obama II, (born August 4, 1961, Honolulu,
Hawaii, USA) was the 44th President of the United States, and the first African-
American to hold the office. Before winning the presidency, Obama represented the
state of Illinois in the US Senate (2005-08). He was the third African-American
elected to that body since the end of Reconstruction (1877). In 2009, he received
the Nobel Peace Prize for "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international
diplomacy and cooperation among nations".


Mahadma Ghandi


Mahatma Gandhi, alias Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, (born October 2, 1869,
Porbandar, India - died January 30, 1948, Delhi) - became the leader of the
nationalist movement against British rule in India. He was recognized as the father
of his country. Gandhi is revered around the world for his doctrine of non-violent
protest (satyagraha) to achieve political and social progress.
In the eyes of millions of his countrymen, Gandhi was the Mahatma ("Great Soul").
His fame spread throughout the world during his lifetime and only increased after
his death. The name Mahatma Gandhi is now one of the most widely recognized on
earth.

Support the Miners

The 1984 miner strike was a turning point in British history. Miners walked out of
their mines to fight the Thatcher government's attempt to close the mines and
break the miners. The full force of the police, courts and media were mobilized to
defeat the miners. Thousands of miners were arrested and fined. They also lost
their jobs.
Shortly after the strike began, the slogan "close the shaft, kill the community" was
invented. The miners - an all-male profession - were powerfully supported by their
wives, the women of Greenham Common and gay and lesbian activists.

The defeat of the strike led to the breakup of organized labor, increased
unemployment, and the hollowing out of mining and other working-class
communities.
Yet out of the strike came revival in many ways. It politicized mining families and
encouraged many of them to become local councilors and even MPs. And although
the mines have closed, the legacy of the mining industry has been preserved
through mining museums

Haiti


Where to start putting bandates on Haiti's History?
Strategically well located, the Island was interesting for Europeans since the 15th
century, when Spanish settlers arrived at the Island of Hispaniola, now known as
Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Within 25 years after the European’s arrival on the Island, the native Taino
population had decreased dramatically, due to diseases that the settlers brought
with them.
Over the next three centuries, European colonizers deployed Haiti for its resources
and brought hundreds of thousands of enslaved people from western and Central
Africa into the country.
In 1804 the state Haiti was created but not recognized by France until 1825, when
Haiti agreed on paying, what would be today 22 billion dollar worth of reparations
to France.
This dept swallowed almost 80 percent of Haiti's yearly revenue over the next 120
years.
In the 20th century, Haiti was controlled by the US for nearly two decades and lost
control over its security and finance systems, after 7 Presidents in 5 years had
either been assassinated or were ousted from office.
After several bloody rebellions, the US withdrew their troops in 1934 as part of the
“good neighborhood policy”.
Haiti's political and economic situation has not improved since, what makes Haiti
today one of the poorest countries in the world.
Additionally, Haiti faced massive natural catastrophes like floods, hurricanes and
landslides.

 

No War - Peace Taskforce

The shirt design plays ironically with the aesthetic of identification tags used in the
us american military (so-called “dog tags”) which feature: Name, Social Security
Number, Blood type and religious preference.
The design also linguistically twists the meaning of the word task force, which
traditionally is used in a military context to describe a military force that is sent to a
particular place to deal with a problem.

Solidarity with the Workers of South Africa + Namibia


The Namibian labour movement has played a prominent role in Namibia’s liberation
struggle. During the colonial rule by Germany (1884-1915) and through much of
South Africa’s rule (1915-1990), workers from Northern Namibia were only allowed
to work in colonial towns, if they had a contract with a particular employer. Such
contracts were for a specific duration (usually 6-12 months), and workers were not
allowed to choose their workplace. The colonial labour agency, the South West
Africa Native Labour Association (SWANLA), classified workers according to age and
strength, and then allocated them to specific workplaces in the mining and fishing
industry or on farms.

Namibian contract workers could not take their families with them and had to
endure highly exploitative working conditions. It was, therefore, hardly surprising
that there was anger amongst migrant workers over their treatment, leading them
to become a central component of Namibia’s anti-colonial resistance and in forming
the backbone of the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) during the
party’s formative years.

Jetzt helfen! Die Lebensmittel in der Zone werden wieder knapp!

“Help now! Zone is short on food again, now parcels and packages over there”
“The Zone”: Is reffering to the soviet occupation zone
Cooperation between the Western Allies and the Soviets ultimately broke down
because of disagreements over Germany's political and economic future.
Much like the 1960s mail art movement, the postal service became an important
tool of communication and soon of politics as well.

Especially after the founding of the Federal Republic and the GDR in 1949, gift
shipments had an important function. In an effort of keeping the will for
reunification alive, the Ministry for “All-German-Affairs”, regularly launched
campaigns to motivate citizens to “Stick together despite the zone border. Letters,
small packages, parcels to the other side!”.
This way, it was possible to convey to the public that the Federal Government held
the conviction that there could only be one united Germany.
At the same time, both political systems had to prove that their approach was the
best, in times of the Cold War this was especially important.
On the east side of Germany, it wasn't the public but the industry that was
encouraged to send parcels and packages to the federal republic.
Holidays like Christmas or Easter to encourage a large number of “Volkseigene
Betriebe (VEBs)” (publically owned industry) to send goods to the „incarcerated
freedom fighters” on the other side of the.

Thus, at the family holidays such as Christmas and Easter, the GDR leadership
always arranged for a large number of Volkseigene Betriebe to send parcels and
packages to the "incarcerated freedom fighters" in the West. This was
communicated to their own citizens in a media-effective way on the radio, in
newspapers and later on television.