12-Feb-2010

Backlash!

It may appear that I have been neglecting The Pansy Project since last November when I attended Shout Festival in Birmingham. This is not altogether true I have been working behind the scenes as ever applying for various opportunities to highlight The Pansy Project and the activities I embark upon. I have been pleased to discover that The Pansy Project seems to be developing a life of its own being commented upon and interacted with without my permission or knowledge, strange how these things evolve. Though of course I am happy that something I started continues to develop despite my lack of nurturing. Yesterday I spoke at “Backlash? The resurgence of homophobia in contemporary cities”, this fascinating ‘UCL Urban Laboratory’ organised by Ben Campkin and Brent Pilkey as part of UCL LGBT History Month brought together thinkers from many fields all of whom had explored various positions and issues regarding the nature of homophobia; from Brent Pilkey’s study of the rainbow flag to the statistical analysis of a “Women’s experience of Homophobia and Transphobia” explored in detail by Susan Patterson. Every speaker had a unique perspective on the nature of homophobia, at the end of the day-long session Mathew Gandy summed up the proceedings. He succinctly proposed many areas that would be worthy of further exploration by the academics present, including “the discourse of tolerance”, the nature of symbols including the difference between the appropriation of symbols such as the pansy and the complexity surrounding the rainbow flag and pink triangle. Gandy went on to raise the death of Michael Boothe whose murder caused outrage in 1990 the subsequent public outcry acted as a pivotal cultural moment signifying a ‘C’ change in the polices attitude towards homophobia, demonstrated by the image of myself planting a pansy at the site of ‘Memorial to the Unnamed’ aided by a police officer. Click here for more information on the speakers and to view a podcast promised soon! In other news I’ll be appearing in Gazelland Magazine this spring published in New York, this ‘Love Issue’ looks like an interesting context for The Pansy Project to be seen in. For now, My Research Continues.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Paul, I'm part of your Project in Facebook, thanks for such a wondefrul, meaningfull job.
    Glad to have time to come read your blog.
    Huggzzzz

    ReplyDelete