The power of the image and the role of social representations in iconographic reproduction: the pink triangle

  • Louis Joe Kernahan University of Neuchâtel
Keywords: social representation, queer history, pink triangle, political symbols, artistic creation


The following study explores the narrative following the pink triangle within queer history as a political symbol and its resulting evolving social representation. First used within Nazi Germany and later reclaimed by social movements, it is now used today often within the creative reproduction of professional and novice artists. A mixed methodology was evoked to observe several instances of iconographic reproduction of the pink triangle across myriad mediums of artistic creation from couture to body art. These examples originate exclusively from WEIRD English-speaking countries. This preliminary explorative analysis of social representations within these uses instilled the processes of anchoring and objectification which hold major roles in the construction and ongoing development of social representations. This analysis suggests the major events that give the pink triangle meaning are integral to the identity of the queer community where its use in artistic creation is important for how queer individuals navigate the world and their place within it.

Author Biography

Louis Joe Kernahan, University of Neuchâtel

LOUIS KERNAHAN is currently working alongside Université de Neuchâtel as a Doctoral Assistant in the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences and reads both Sociocultural Psychology and Museology. Further interests include science communication, inequality research, and vision sciences.