those slivy black clad anarchists!
<table><tr><td>From <a href="http://www.seamsandstory.net/?p=1145">Seam & Story</a>
I recently decided to design a few pieces for an anarchist fashion show coming up in Boston in April (it’s a fundraiser for the Anarchist Black Cross). A perfect opportunity to combine two of my passions (textile craft and anarchism), I went to the metaphorical drawing-board at once! I looked up anarchist symbolism, read about why anarchists wear black and even trolled Etsy for anarchism related products. In the course of this, I turned up some pretty interesting information. </em></p>
<p><em>Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be blogging a little bit about anarcho symbolism and fashion. Before you get your (black, utility-pocket clad) knickers in a knot, remember that anarchists have long had an interest in wearing their ideals. From the Paris Commune to punk shows, anarchists have chosen specific colors and symbols to represent themselves to the capitalist, statist world around them. </em></p></td><td><img title="I wish we were dapper with suits and shit." src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2010/sad_goth.jpg"></td></tr></t...
<p><strong>OK, let’s start with that most central of questions: Why do anarchists wear black?!</strong></p>
<p><em><a href="http://www.seamsandstory.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/main_medics_480.... ><img title="main_medics_480" src="http://www.seamsandstory.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/main_medics_480.... alt="" width="480" height="330" /></a></em></p>
<p>The use of mourning clothing in Continental Europe dates back to the Roman Empire. Most often, the tradition involved wearing unadorned black clothing for a set period of time to mark the passing of a relative or loved one. Mourning clothing in Victorian Europe was far more complicated, bound by a set of social mores and involved accessories like jewelry made of jet and locks of the deceased ones hair. This makes anarcho-goths, with a style influenced in part by Victorian mourning garb, a sort of missing link in the history of anarchist fashion.</p>
<p>The idea of anarchists-in-black also being anarchists-in-mourning (for the fallen, the oppressed, for the rise of capitalism and the state) is an incredibly beautiful concept. I think of the black bloc and black-clad medics, who wear the color while engaged in acts of protest against the state. In these cases, to mourn is not to grieve passively, but to turn that grievance in to acts of resistance. I think of labor organizer Mother Jones’ famous quote, “Pray for the dead, fight like hell for the living.”</p>
<p>As an embroiderer, my first impulse was to embroider mourning clothing with words and phrases from the history of anarchism. But which ones? I considered lists of the dead, but those don’t account for the millions of unknown. I considered symbols like black roses. I looked up the last words of executed anarchists, with a specific eye to Boston’s own Sacco and Vanzetti (since the fundraiser is in Boston). That’s where I came across this choice phrase, from the wreath that was laid across Sacco and Vanzetti’s caskets:</p>
<p><em>Aspettando l’ora della vendetta </em></p>
<p>In English, it reads ‘Awaiting the hour of vengeance.’ Perfect, time to get stitching.</p>