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Screenshot 2018-06-12 15.33.30.jpg

Fighting Fire With Light: A Rainbow Monument In Warsaw Gets New Life

By Mieka Strawhorn | News | June 12, 2018 |

By Mieka Strawhorn | News | June 12, 2018 |

Screenshot 2018-06-12 15.33.30.jpg

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”

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.

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.
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.”

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.

Mieka is a staff contributor. You can follow her on Twitter.