The Pansy Project – OUTing the past

24 January 2018 by Kay

two men at a flower bed, one in police uniform

Paul Harfleet planting pansies in St John’s Gardens, Liverpool with a representative of Merseyside Police © Paul Harfleet

Our sixth blog post in the run up to our exciting OUTing the Past: The 4th National Festival of LGBT History conference, 3 February, is from Paul Harfleet.

Paul is an artist who plants pansies at the sites of homophobia, including here in Liverpool, as part of The Pansy Project.

He tells us more –

“I began The Pansy Project 13 years ago in Manchester, since then I have travelled the world planting pansies at the sites of homophobia; from London, Liverpool, Paris, Istanbul and New York. Each pansy is documented in its location and then added to my website. This anecdotal geography of homophobia creates a fascinating narrative through the experience of homophobia.

In this presentation I will tell the story of the project and the ongoing creative journey, including a Gold Medal winning RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show garden in 2010 and my new children’s picture book, ‘Pansy Boy’: a semi-autobiographical book that I wrote and illustrated that tells the story of a boy who is bullied at school and uses pansies to raise awareness.”

purple flower

A pansy ‘for Michael Causer’, Huyton, Liverpool © Paul Harfleet

The full programme for the day at the Museum of Liverpool can be seen on the event page.

Paul Harfleet

© Paul Harfleet

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