I Created the Isis Dildo Flag at London Pride to ‘Start a Dialogue’, Not Get a Laugh

isis-dildo

‘I flew the flag in London’s gay pride parade because Isis is deserving of mockery and disrespect. I never thought CNN would think it was real’

 writes: I spent the morning of London’s Pride parade hand-stitching dildos onto a flag.

I’d been using the sex-toy motif in my work before I made a flag of Isis out of them and brought it to the march. Previously, I’ve attached dildos onto postcards from each country where homosexuality is still illegal to point out that the laws of these places regards its gay residents as mere sex objects.

The decision to make the flag was a simple one: a sense of outrage at Isis’s brutal advance across North Africa, Libya, Syria and Iraq. Medieval ideologies and barbarism were being spread and recorded
through that most modern of expressions, social media, with that flag ever-present. It has become a potent symbol of brutality, fear and sexual oppression. If I wanted to try and stimulate a dialogue about
coombs the ridiculousness of this ideology, the flag was key.

It was important that I didn’t try to replicate the writing on the flag, because the words and their subject – Islam – are not the target. But if I showed as little respect to this flag as Isis shows to the religion and people they claim to represent so that when people saw it they would think, “dildos”? Would that be a crazy idea?

The Pride festival is a pure celebration of the finest aspects of humanity: of tolerance, togetherness, acceptance and liberation, the polar opposite of what Isis stands for. If there was anywhere where my flag had a voice, it was there. And I had an invitation to march in the parade with a friend involved with “Alien Sex Club”, an art project exploring the HIV syndemic by John Walter.

We agreed we would gauge reaction to the flag from fellow marchers before we hit the main streets and the crowds, but the reaction was so good humored and understanding that any worries were dissipated in minutes. The tragedies in Tunisia, Kuwait and Lyon made the case for protesting against these murderers even stronger; defiance is the best form of remembrance. The flag was so clearly made of dildos that I never thought it could be mistaken for an actual Isis flag.

But 1.5 miles (2.4km) into the march, a gust of wind suddenly snapped the flagpole in two….(read more)

The Guardian

 


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