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Warsaw’s “Rainbow” to return? Work is underway

Warsaw’s "Rainbow" to return? Work is underway

Image source: © Adrian Grycuk / Wikipedia
Weronika Paliczka,
15.02.2024 14:30

Will the "Rainbow" be reinstated in Saviour Square (Polish: Plac Zbawiciela)? The iconic installation garnered both supporters and opponents. Efforts are currently underway to reinstate the artwork to its original location.

It has been almost nine years since the 'Rainbow' installation disappeared. The artwork was created by Julita Wójcik, a Polish performer and artist. The colourful sculpture was initially placed in front of the European Parliament in 2011. A year later, it was relocated to Warsaw's Saviour Square, where it subsequently suffered several arson attacks. Due to the repeated incidents of arson, the decision was made to dismantle the installation in August 2015.

The "Rainbow" was to return to Saviour Square several times

In 2022, a civic initiative was launched to reinstate the ‘Rainbow’ in Saviour Square and rebrand it as the ‘LGBT+ Arch’. The Homokomando organisation extended their support to the activists spearheading this project. Regrettably, the proposal did not gain approval from the residents, as the ‘LGBT+ Arch’ project garnered a mere 6,806 votes. Undeterred by this setback, the activists resubmitted the proposal to reinstall the ‘Rainbow’ within this year's Warsaw civic budget.

2024 Warsaw Participatory Budget

Linus Lewandowski is an LGBT activist and Homokomando campaigner who submitted a proposal for the 'Rainbow' project to the civic budget. He is known for his active participation in protests, including advocating for the release of arrested activist Margot. The project aims to promote equality and inclusivity in Warsaw. It involves the construction of the ‘LGBT+ Arch’ on Saviour Square, along with the display of rainbow flags in all districts of Warsaw during June. The estimated cost for the project is PLN 700,000.

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Fireproof rainbow for Pride Month

"The project aims to design and construct an installation using fireproof materials. The frame of the object will be created using the most non-flammable materials available and will be coated with vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The installation will be positioned perpendicularly in the historic Stanislawowska Axis, perfectly blending in with its urban design and restoring the traditional character of the Square," as stated by the project brief.

The 'Rainbow' is set to make a comeback to Saviour Square in June. This timing is intentional, as June is celebrated as Pride Month worldwide. The reason for bringing back the 'Rainbow' is "to show support for LGBTQIA+ people who often face various forms of discrimination. This discrimination can make them feel rejected, as if they don't fit in, and can lead them to hide their true identities and pretend to be someone they are not," reads the project’s description.

The project's proponents are adamant that the new ‘Rainbow’ installation should remain apolitical, hence their proposal to finance it through the civic budget. They explain that numerous organisations traditionally express their solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community during June when the Equality Parade takes place. Their vision extends beyond a single month: they aspire to see rainbow flags fluttering across all neighbourhoods and throughout the entire city. They insist that discrimination persists year-round, and the proposed ‘LGBT+ Arch’ aims to be a steadfast source of support. Importantly, they emphasise that this backing should not hinge solely on the decisions of politicians and officials, which could inadvertently entangle it in political strife. Thus, the choice to allocate funds from the civic budget underscores the city’s residents' collective will.

Voting for the civic project in Warsaw will be held from 15 to 30 June 2024. It is up to Warsaw residents to decide whether to bring back the 'Rainbow' to Saviour Square.

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