2021 First Place High School Art

"Pink Temple" by Charlotte White, Caddo Magnet High
(Teacher: Deborah Morehead)

Artist's Statement

Before the Nazi regime dominated Germany, there was a bustling lively gay community in Berlin. It seemed, at the time, that liberation and equality was just around the corner for many. However, in what seemed like a matter of months, the community was crushed under the heel of Nazi Germany's strict anti-sodomy laws. Hundreds of thousands were arrested and imprisoned before the Holocaust, and during it , 10-15,000 gay men were reportedly killed. They were forced to wear inverted pink triangles to mark them as homosexual, and endured some of the worst conditions man has faced. The Nazis decimated what little power the community had gained, and it took years for them to build themselves back up and find community again after World War II. In the gay liberation movements of the 1970s and 80s, the community began to wear the pink triangle insignia that the gay men in the Holocaust were forced to wear, as a way of showing solidarity and reclaiming their history. Today, the symbol still carries so much meaning to the members of the LGBTQ+ community, representing the importance of our history and the solidarity we share with each other. Through remembering the past, we can strive to create a better future and achieve full liberation.