British artist Paul Harfleet takes Pansy Project to Antwerp

August 7, 2020

Antwerp Pride, in collaboration with the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival, will be bringing the Pansy Project by British artist Paul Harfleet to Antwerp, Belgium.

Twenty violet flowers or pansies will be ‘planted’ at the Den Oudaan police tower, the headquarters of  Antwerp Police.

All over the world, British artist Paul Harfleet plans violet flowers in or near places where a homophobic crime has taken place.

Because of the pandemic, the Pansy Project in Antwerp has a different, more symbolic interpretation. Since international travel is not recommended, it was difficult for Paul to travel to Antwerp. Instead of real flowers, he has graphically designed some violets. Small works of art will in this way form a powerful statement against hate.

The diversity team of the Antwerp police will put twenty large ‘pansies’ on the building and they will be visible from the street.

Meanwhile, Antwerp Pride and Antwerp Queer Arts Festival are looking at other places in the city where a graphic violet can be applied.

Bart Abeel, Antwerp Pride chairman, said: ‘We will deliver violets to places where we know that a hate crime has taken place like Café Strange, where owner Armand fell victim to gay bashing two years ago.

A coronavirus version of Antwerp Pride should not mean that the fight against hate crimes, whether they are homophobic, transphobic or racist, disappears in the background. We appreciate the continued efforts of the Antwerp Police in this area, but in this way we call on the various authorities to step up their efforts to fight against intolerance.’

More information about Paul Harfleet and the Pansy Project can be found here.