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Hull church puts up electric fence to highlight LGBT hate crime

July 18, 2017
Hull Minster Electric Fence

The striking installation is in the entrance to the Minster (Image: Hull City of Culture)

A church in the North of England has installed an electric fence in its entrance hall, in a bid to highlight the plight of LGBT people across the globe.

Known simply as “The Electric Fence” the artwork hopes to be provocative and challenge people’s perceptions of hate crime.

Annabel McCourt, the artist behind the piece at Hull Minister, said it was a direct response to attacks on same sex marriage.

She explained: “The Electric Fence was born out of a direct and personal response to a highly publicised American Pastor’s sermon in which he advocated a ‘solution’ to same sex marriage.

“I couldn’t have foretold the current climate in my wildest nightmares. Soundbites of ‘learning lessons’ resonate in a hollow mantra in which we haven’t evolved.

“First, Trump rises to power promising a wall, then, reports of gay men being interned and tortured in concentration camps in Chechnya, evoking the indescribable horrors of Auschwitz.”

She added: “Now, a ‘coalition of chaos’ fuelling fear and throwing into question new-found and cherished LGBT freedoms. Borders, boundaries, terror, fake news… we are trapped in a loop of hatred where the human condition and an architecture of fear are working in perfect harmony.”

Back in 2014 a North Carolina pastor had called for the death of lesbian and gay people through imprisoning them inside an electric fence.

Charles Worley was filmed in Providence Road Baptist Church saying society should “build a great, big, large fence — 150 or 100 mile long — put all the lesbians in there.

 

“Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out…and you know what, in a few years, they’ll die out…do you know why? They can’t reproduce!”

The new installation, part of the City of Culture’s Freedom Season, is made up of four giant metal posts connected by wire which will react to an audiences’ presence.

Funded by the Arts Council of England, the artist also hopes to tour the piece internationally after it comes off display in October.

 

She added: “The Electric Fence although initially inspired by LGBT concerns, is an installation for all; exploring freedoms, both physical and metaphorical loaded with symbolism and carrying the scars of humanity within its very fabric.

“At a time when the world seems more fractious and volatile than ever and on American Independence Day, maybe, just maybe, in the very building where William Wilberforce himself was baptised, there might be a glimmer of hope…”

Hull is also set to hit LGBT headlines later this month as it holds the UK’s first national pride.

This weekend will kick-off the week long celebrations, which also come 50 years after homosexuality was decriminalised in the UK.

 

More: England

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