Artist Uses Flowers To Tackle Homophobic Abuse

Paul Harfleet’s pansies are a small but powerful protest. And now people are joining in all around the world.

The 37 year old from Kingston began his ‘guerrilla gardening’ project in Manchester in 2005, planting pansies at local spots where he or his friends had suffered homophobic abuse.

The simple idea grew to mark both scenes of ‘every day’ homophobia and to commemorate high profile victims of extreme violence, such as David Morley, who was beaten to death in London in 2004.

Since he began posting his pictures online, Harfleet has inspired others to follows suit, with pansies appearing in Berlin, New York, Turkey and Austria, usually captioned with the details of the abuse and the victim’s name. Harfleet plans to add 100 more to London this spring, in what is now known as The Pansy Project.

“Fuck off and die faggot!” Tottenham Court Road, London.

Broken ribs, Waring Street, Belfast, Anon.

For David Morley*, Southbank, London.

*Morley was a gay bartender fatally attacked by a group of youths near Waterloo Station in London in 2004.

Punched, Birmingham.

“Are you a boy or a girl? Are you a boy or a girl?” Tesco, Hurst Street, Birmingham, for Kai Weston.

“Batty boy!” Exhchange Square, Manchester, planted for Daniel Taylor.

“Fucking faggot”, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, for Robbie Valentine.

“You fucking queer cunt!”, Whitworth Street, Manchester, planted for Scally Dandan.

“The nigger is a faggot!”, severe beating, for Dwan Prince*, Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York.

*Dwan Prince was a construction worker who was left partly paralysed and forced to use a wheelchair after being beaten in the street by Steven Pomie, who was sentenced to 25 years in jail for the attack in 2006. Prince also suffered serious brain damage.

“Fucking dykes!”, Cross Street, Manchester, planted by Jan Bradley.

“POOF!” Arndale Centre, Manchester.

“Faggot!” Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester.

Indistinct abuse, accompanied by stone throwing, Manchester.

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