This could be a fantastic response at a time when homophobia seems to have found new ground in France, as a result of the heavy debate on marriage equality : in Britain, an artist, Paul Harfleet, has decided to fight it with… flowers.
The idea of the "Pansy Project" is to plant pansies at local spots where homophobic attacks occured, to take a picture of the fragile flower, add a shocking caption, inspired by the violence of the assault ("Fuck off and die fagot! "or" The nigger is a fagot! "for example) and share them on the net.
The project was born in 2005 in Manchester, after the artist himself suffered homophobic abuse. Why pansies ? Because "pansy" has a double meaning: it is both the flower (coming from the French word « penser » = to think) but also a homophobic insult.
Planting this flower as close as possible to the scene of the assault, verbal or physical, sometimes deadly, is a way for the artist to adjust the memory of each location which has the effect of overlaying the remembered event in the mind of the participants with a more positive association. And to alert.
The project has been growing across the UK, but also in Berlin, New York, Istanbul, Austria or Northern Ireland. On May 17, International Day against Homophobia and on the eve of Brussels pride, pansies will be planted in Brussels, on the spots of recent homophobic attacks (for more information, visit Rainbow House website)
"You Fucking Queer Cunt!", Whitworth Street, Manchester
"Garbage Bags, Severe Beating, Hospitalised!" For Kevin Aviance, East Village, New York
"Fuckin' Poofs!" Oxford Street, London