¬ Silvia Bombardini
At the turn of the 20th century, a plague was sweeping through the temples of consumption of the Western world. Like mites taking bites off the profit books, shoplifters had multiplied to the point that their thefts, of little consequence on their own, were posing when combined a real threat to the new department stores’ turnover.
The offenders, usually female, were often wealthy enough they could have afforded easily whatever they stole—a fact that led many, at the time and since, to question the root causes of their criminal behaviour since poverty was not to blame.
[Excerpt of THE SHOPLIFTER’S CLOTHES: TECHNOLOGIES FOR A FEMINIST PRACTICE]
THE SHOPLIFTER’S CLOTHES: TECHNOLOGIES FOR A FEMINIST PRACTICE
Text contribution, 2023
Silvia Bombardini is a writer, occasional film curator, and a PhD researcher at Goldsmiths, where she focuses on shoplifting as a feminist practice at the turn of the 20th century. Her research is part of the ‘Politics of Patents (POP): Re-imagining citizenship via clothing inventions 1820-2020’ research project in Goldsmiths’ Visual Sociology department.