There is a rainbow in the streets of Warsaw, Poland. Made from light refracted off of tiny droplets of water, the Warsaw rainbow in Savior Square is like any other rainbow, except this one was forged in fire. Back in 2012, a rainbow was made from “a tangle of wires and plastic, colorful flowers, fashioned into an arch” to serve as a monument to hope.
The original monument’s creator, Julita Wojcik, said (via LGBTQ Nation):
“The colors the rainbow on flags used in the past symbolized a new era, hope, social change, world peace and even, in Poland in the past, cooperation”
a 2012 art installation of a rainbow in support of the lgbt community in warsaw was repeatedly burnt down vandalized and eventually stripped down only to make a comeback for 2018 pride parade as a literal rainbow so it's indestructible and here to stay gay science is so powerful pic.twitter.com/SA7gFswjsq— lotion's 8 (@daddypauIson) June 8, 2018
LGBTQ Nation adds:
But the far-right only saw it as an LGBTQ symbol and organized around attacking it. “There was a label stuck to [the rainbow] paradoxically by nationalists, right-wing groups and homophobes who only saw it as an LGBT thing,” said Miroslawa Makuchowska of Campaign Against Homophobia.
And because hateful assholes the world over continue to be the worst, the monument was repeatedly burned and defaced.
There used to be a big rainbow instalation in the middle of Warsaw, but far right hooligans kept burning it down, over and over. Today, on the eve of Warsaw Pride, the rainbow is back, made of water and light. This one, fire cannot kill. pic.twitter.com/wsGA5WNGkN— Ewa Infeld (@evainfeld) June 8, 2018
In 2015, after having been destroyed no fewer than 6 times, the monument was removed altogether. Until last week that is, when it was resurrected as “an unbreakable symbol of love, peace, LGBT rights and equality.” Its debut marked the beginning of Pride celebrations in Warsaw. According to PinkNews:
Before the Warsaw Equality Parade on Saturday, a new rainbow monument was unveiled at a busy intersection in the country’s capital, where a rainbow is formed by light bouncing off of water vapour, producing a holographic rainbow.
The giant rainbow is back at Warsaw's Saviour Square! Originally built in 2012, vandalised and put on fire several times by anti-LGBT groups and finally disassembled in 2015, it's now back on the eve of Warsaw Pride taking place: as a water hologram (photo: @t_szykulski) pic.twitter.com/COBEEBmp5r— Jakub Krupa (@JakubKrupa) June 8, 2018
Love Does Not Exclude Association, who helped organise the monument, said that it was symbolic. Association chairperson Ola Muzinska told The Telegraph: “This rainbow signifies the start of a wider campaign to raise awareness of LGBT rights and in particular the fight for marriage equality in Poland.”
An ‘unbreakable’ rainbow installation made of light and water was set up in Warsaw, Poland for #Pride to replace a rainbow sculpture that was repeatedly vandalized by anti-LGBT groups. pic.twitter.com/xB8oL6sgCK— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 11, 2018
Pink News notes that “although it is legal to be gay in Poland, public opinion as a whole is not in favour of LGBT+ rights,” which in a way, imbues this display of pride and love with an added layer of beauty and light.