riot pant project

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Toxic Masculinity

PHOTOGRAPHY HANKO YE | STYLING MINA BONAKDAR | HAIR AND MAKEUP NINA GESELL

The powerful brainchild of a graphic and fashion designer duo in Berlin.

Welcome to the Riot Pant Project.

 

It all started when Elena & Mina met during a collaborative project with their university; Berlin University of the Arts. Their friendship blossomed as they found a shared passion in feminism and activism, in a city thriving with cutting-edge creatives and powerful women, yet still plagued by Toxic Masculinity. Man-spreading; spreading ones legs in a bid to take up eccessive space in public areas, establishing dominance over women, is a prominent issue in the city generating a negative social environment. As Mina explains:

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Stop Spreading

Give Us Space

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“I don't think I've witnessed it so much in the UK, I lived in London for half a year. I think it's a little bit different here in Berlin because of the way the seating is on the trains. It enables man-spreading to be a really big thing, so it on a daily basis, when I take a public transport I see man-spreading and I have been bothered by that for a long time”.

 

"the possibility of hiding and revealing information with garments by changing a posture, or body position."

By combining their skills, drive and knowledge, Elena & Mina embarked on their journey of the Riot Pant by cunningly printing cynical (yet powerful) slogans on the crotch area of pants;

Together as a creative force, Elena & Mina strived to address this issue within their project - both being particularly fascinated with;

“So we were talking and we were like - Oh, look, this is the perfect space to put a message that you can both hide and reveal, because when you make the man spread it will be readable, but if you close your legs, you can hide the message.

What a perfect position for information to address the man    spreader directly; you not only reveal a message that could cause  him to behave differently, but you also imitate the posture”. 

This clever form of activism causes people to stop and think about the message you are putting in-front of them through the spread. It is so powerful that it wont just cause a fleeting thought, but rather, changing the way men act in public around women, in the longer term.

Still, the roots of the message run deeper as Elena & Mina flag intriguing points including connotations around women spreading as a "sexualized second invitation”and how man spreading effects other marginalised people, not just women. We delved even further into the story behind the slogans:

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TOXIC MASCULINITY

"Everyone is suffering. One small discussion and a whole big discussion about sexism and wrong ideas of how to socialise gender. We don't want to say masculinity is toxic, but some of the things we are taught when growing up bring toxic expectations towards each other; for example women are told to cross their legs and not spread them, whilst men are allowed to spread and are told they shouldn't cross their legs. I’ve heard from some men that they like to sit like that - some say it's comfortable! "

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PHOTOGRAPHY LEXI SUN| STYLING MINA BONAKDAR

GIVE US SPACE

"Is the most important, because it's referring to how space has been taken from some people. What is happening in the body posture of the spread is that men are taking up space when they sit, when they socialise, when they talk - it's in-equal. Feeling safe or unsafe in public transport basically is a struggle for women or other marginalised people. They are scared of men because they are jeopardising them in public transport."

PHOTOGRAPHY NADINE HESS| STYLING MINA BONAKDAR

PHOTOGRAPHY HANKO YE | STYLING MINA BONAKDAR | HAIR AND MAKEUP NINA GESELL

STOP SPREADING

SIMPLY ‘A request to stop spreading’

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What wonderful words. We were then curious to see how Mina & Elena’s movement has been received by the Berlin public, and the impact they have had with onlookers;

I feel like maybe some men would agree with our statements and just feel a bit guilty. So we understand it's probably quite awkward for them but, I mean, it will make them think in the long term. So, even if they don't say anything at the time they won't forget it.

JOIN THE RIOT

So what's next? At bleaq, we just had to get involved and support Mina & Elena's powerful project. So as well as stocking exclusive ready-printed pants on our online marketplace - we are so excited to reveal our BLEAQ X RIOT PANT DROP OFF calendar that will be operating from our Bricklane store - giving you the opportunity not only to revamp and reimagine your pants, but to also utilise personalisation through slogans to join the movement.

Modern Room Decor

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On the 15th of every month, it will be RIOT PANT DROP DAY at the bleaq Bricklane store:

 

  1. Bring along a pair of your old (washed) pants that need some re-loving 

  2. Drop off in accordance to the calendar - choose you slogan month

  3. Choose 1 of 3 colours

  4. Your pants will be sent straight to Mina & Elena of Riot Pant project in Berlin, where they will slogan them up

  5. The printing process is long and unique to each pair of pants, so rest assured this purely personalised service is worth the wait.

  6. Pants will be available to pickup 1st of the following month!

  7. Activism and Empowerment it's as easy as that. Go spread the word and wear your re-loved pants proud.

Pivotal issues around gender, feminism and sexism are important to us at bleaq, and so the strive for a better future through creatives such as Riot Pant, Reverend Sophie (fighting street harassment), BBsmithhh (female empowerment necklaces) and Aphro Thene (inner goddess pieces) is really what we champion.

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