At NGNM, we consider an activist t-shirt is not just some boring consumer product – it’s important to understand the meaning of the different symbols printed on our shirts. With so many acronyms and slogans, sometimes even codified (1312 = ACAB), it can be confusing for those who are unfamiliar with anarchism.
This is why our now displays a detailed description of each t-shirt with explanations of the symbols, their meanings, and their historical origins. These texts provide a better understanding of the social struggles that inspired our designs. This information also helps to become familiar with the authors of the many quotes found on our t-shirts
- A “161” t-shirt will inform you that the numbers represent the position of the letters AFA in the alphabet, which is an acronym for Anti-Fascist Action
- A quote from Makhno will show you the biography of Nestor Makhno and the history of Makhnovtchina. We learn, among other things, that Makhno was the inventor of the Tachanka, a machine gun pulled by a horse, another symbol found on our t-shirts.
- A band’s t-shirt will display their biography, history, and member list.
- A t-shirt with a black flag will show you the history of the black flag and where its association with anarchism came from.
- A t-shirt with a Ⓔ will tell you that the symbol means “Equality”
- A “We can do it” t-shirt will tell the story of Rosie the Riveter and her association with the feminist movement.
This wiki is the culmination of a collective work over several years. Every t-shirt has been reviewed to add thematic tags for every struggle, every person, every band, and every symbol. Then, an explanatory text was linked to each label and was translated into 3 languages (English, French, Spanish).
These tags, more than 3000 in total, also allow better classification of our t-shirts and greatly improve search engine accuracy. It also makes it possible to sort the t-shirts by language.
Please feel free to report any inaccuracies or translation errors. You can also suggest improvements to descriptive texts