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Object: T-shirt, ’Queer’

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Title T-shirt, ’Queer’
Production ACT-UP (maker/artist), mid 1990s, Australia
Materials cotton, ink
Classification T-shirts
Dimensions Overall: 710mm (Height) x 855mm (Width)
Credit line Gift of Neil Anderson, 2000
Registration number GH007992

This T-shirt was created by Act Up, a defiant activist body formed initially in the United States, then Australia, in response to the AIDS crisis. The T-shirt aims to reclaim the word 'queer' for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. Reclaiming 'queer' began in English speaking countries from the early 1990s.

T-shirts emblazoned with logos and slogans play an important role in protest and identity paraphernalia - they are easily reproducible, cheap and wearable. They act as a canvas or billboard to affirm identity or philosophy. They enable a broad range of people to participate in protest or meaning at a daily, ground level, and therefore are familiar material culture.

T-shirts like this are fun, playful, tongue in cheek, but can still be read on many levels. Some messages are ironic, subversive and provocative. Some are deeply political and express the zeitgeist of an era.

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Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.