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Outfit worn as a political protest on Tynwald Day 1991

Date made: 1991

Maker: Shea, Alan

Description: This outfit was worn by Alan Shea as a protest against Manx laws criminalising homosexuality, on Tynwald Day, 5 July 1991.

It consists of a pyjama jacket and trousers, bought from Marks & Spencer in Douglas and painted with grey and black stripes to resemble a Nazi concentration camp uniform. Other details include a pink triangle and label with number 626262 (the Isle of Man Government phone number).

Shea was presenting his petition of grievance on Tynwald Hill, and drawing parallels with Nazi persecution of homosexuals. Whilst it is true that the Isle of Man was politically very conservative as late as the 1990s, the protest also highlights the fact that Manx people have ready access to the democratic process. One aspect of this is the Tynwald ceremony at St Johns where in accordance with ancient tradition, on this one day each year grievances can be presented directly to Tynwald and must receive due consideration.

Materials: cotton

Object name: protest outfit

Collection: Costume & Textiles Collection

ID Number: 1991-0170

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