Wednesday 16 October 2013


pansy ('pænzi) n., pl. -sies. 1. any violaceous garden plant that is a variety of Viola tricolor, having flowers with rounded velvety petals, white, yellow, or purple in colour. See also wild pansy. 2. Slang. an effeminate or homosexual man or boy. 3. a. a strong violet colour. b. (as adj.: a pansy carpet. [C15: from Old French pensée thought, from penser to think, from Latin pensare]

Eight years ago, Paul Harfleet started The Pansy Project. Since then, he has been planting flowers at sites of homophobic crimes in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Istanbul, New York City, Berlin, Graz and many more. Thousands of pansies have been planted, many of them in cities where homophobic crime has risen.
Harfleet describes the cathartic effect of this very project. The public nature of these incidents was a crucial aspect as the crimes often occurred during the day in full view of passers by. He was interested in the memories he would associate with the locations and wanted to manipulate the associations. When he planted his first pansy, his feelings towards the location changed. Harfleet says he overlayed the memory with something positive.

Whitechapel Road, London

Hurst Street, Birmingham

Upper Brook Street, Manchester

Herrengasse, Graz

Definition from: Collins English Dictionary, 3rd edition, Harpers Collins Publishers
Information and photos via The Pansy Project, The Pansy Project BlogThe Huffington Post and BBC


  1. I actually saw this project in Birmingham walking by! Decent posting, Laura!

  2. Lovely project, indeed.

  3. Somehow I missed that story, really great!

  4. Abbie Winterburn16 October 2013 at 12:20

    Lovely posting, as always :) Thank you!

  5. Thanks for sharing this project, Laura.

  6. Tim, Macy, Erin, Karen, Abbie, Kenneth and Derek: Many, many thanks for your lovely comments ... and a wonderful good morning to all of you.