The process of washing, by beating the dirt off the flag with a stone and a bar of soap, hints at ideological structures that could be overcome but nevertheless leave traces that are both visible and covert. What does it mean in fact to be subject to a public discourse that demands the homogeneity of views? Is society really democratic if it ostracizes, threatens, and disrupts the lives of those who do not think along ideological lines?
Washhouses existed as social places in which working-class women shared the burden of pain in its multifaceted forms: existential, physical, and psychological. One could only try to imagine what damage cold water would inflict to the hands of women washing clothes all day long in order to earn a living.
The washhouse becomes an allegorical and hyperbolic place where the corrosiveness of public discourse can be beaten away. It is the place where ideals can be washed and where a different future can be reimagined as an alternative to current social and political upheavals.