24-May-2007

Ponderings!

During the IDAHO event organised in association with Camden LGBT Forum ‘The Pansy Project’ evolved yet again; the way the Forum embraced the project and interpreted it in their own way enhances for me what the project is: A way of dealing with the constant hate still directed at large swathes of gay people.

After the plantings at each location Lou would read a list of the abuse that had been received in the nearby area; the information collated with the help of the police is testament to the veracity of the incidents that have been reported, as you can see on the main site and here on the blog. It never ceases to amaze me that people still feel able to express this hatred without shame.

However the way in which the assembled group reacted to the reading of this torrent of abuse was very moving a mixture of reluctant acceptance and restrained anger. The event and ‘The Pansy Project’ generally enabled a context for a response that seemed calm and gentle and as we as a group left each collection of pansies in the world I felt very moved.

For me it is important that the pansies are unmarked, if each pansy was marked it would somehow alter their reading; the queerness of them at the base of one tree here and there adds to the peculiarity of the work. It would alienate a wider audience if they were labelled an anti-homophobia statement, this way the work will gradually reveal itself to the curious passerby. (Above a picture of me photographing a pansy, and below Lou Hart reading the list of abuse; pictures Chris Buckley)