PhD candidate
Silvia Bombardini


This PhD studentship is an independent research project located in the POPLab and oriented around the main themes of the POP project – citizenship, patents, invention, gender, bodies, subversion and interruption. It is part of the Goldsmiths Visual Sociology programme, so it combines critical and creative practice research.

Silvia Bombardini is a journalist and film curator, and a Visiting Lecturer in Fashion at the Royal College of Art. She has written for several international publications and websites, and regularly runs a Coming of Age column for Shanghai-based magazine Modern Weekly China, on how the fashions favoured by youth around the globe come to reflect broader cultural and political shifts. Her research interests include all forms of unconscious subversions in consumers’ behaviour – from the 1946 Nylon riots, through Baudrillard’s notion of hyperconformity, to the Black Friday hordes of today. She’s recently written a revaluation of luxury counterfeits from postmodern and postcolonial perspectives.

She is currently researching shoplifting as a feminist practice. Over the course of her PhD studies in the POP project, she plans to explore how women’s clothing inventions and acts of shoplifting might be understood as an ‘act of citizenship’ (Isin and Neilson, 2008). She considers the actor who, beyond the objects she steals, redefines herself as a claimant for autonomy and recompense. This involves taking into account patents of pockets and skirts from the late 19th and early 20th century, when in the Western world’s department stores shoplifting prospered. The aim is to investigate whether women’s garments might have been instrumental to these women’s claims by facilitating the gendered act of resistance that shoplifting was and still is.

As a film curator, Silvia organises screenings in theatres and galleries around town, has worked with ASVOFF and MUBI, and co-runs Redmond Pictures, a volunteer-led, not-for-profit community cinema based in the Redmond Community Centre in London.