Tempo – Tomboys – Transformations. Modes des voitures et femmes machines des années 1930

The essay, published in French in the magazine Corps, focuses on the modern and transnational lifestyle as well as the work of female writers and photographers of the Weimar Republic such as Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Ruth Landshoff-Yorck, Erika Mann, Marianne Breslauer, and Ré Soupault. These women appeared in both Berlin and Paris bohemian circles during the interwar period and were internationally connected. At the same time, they worked for German lifestyle magazines and, with their short hairstyles, men’s shirts, and suits, embodied a tomboy look that they also documented in their texts and pictures. It was not only in the context of their regular travels that they led a border-crossing lifestyle. As drivers, these women also crossed supposed barriers between masculinity and femininity, man and technology, and not least between art and life. For in many cases they wove autobiographical experiences into their works. The aim of this article is to illustrate how these female artists designed the type of tomboy as a threshold figure that was associated with freedom and dynamism on the one hand, but also with threat on the other.

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