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The V&A acquires a Pussyhat on International Women’s Day

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Jayna Zweiman: Pussyhat

On International Women’s Day the Victoria and Albert Museum in London announced it has acquired a Pussyhat for its Design, Architecture and Digital collection. It will form part of the museum’s free-to-view Rapid Response Collecting display, which aims to explore how design, art, architecture and technology impact global events, political changes and pop cultural phenomena. It also includes the burkini, the Refugee Olympic flag and Vote Leave campaign leaflet.

The Pussyhat became a symbol for women’s solidarity when it was worn by an estimated 500,000 people in Washington at the Women’s March on the day after Trump’s inauguration. It was knitted by LA-based activist Jayna Zweiman, who with Krista Suh co-founded the Pussyhat project after the US presidential election. It called for participants to turn Washington into “a sea of pink” in protest of the Trump administration.

According to the duo, the cat ear design was developed partly in response to Trump’s now infamous “grab them by the pussy” comment, which he put down to “locker room banter”. Jayna and Krista collaborated with Kat Coyle, owner of an LA yarn shop, to create a simple pattern of the hat, posted online to encourage people to create their own knitted Pussyhat for the march.

“This modest pink hat is a material thing that through its design enables us to raise questions about our current political and social circumstance,” says Corinna Gardner, acting keeper of the V&A’s Design, Architecture and Digital department.

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Photo: Brian Allen; courtesy Voice of America
Women’s March Washington DC 21 January