Vince Laws explains THIS POPE IS PANTS... banned from the Jubilee Library, Brighton at the launch of 'I Am A Poem' / 6 February 2013
The visual poem, entitled THIS POPE IS PANTS, is made of donated pants, stitched together to form bunting. There is a letter stapled to each crotch, spelling out THIS POPE IS PANTS. THIS POPE IS PANTS was displayed at the packed artistic launch in the library on 1 February, but has now left the building.
As a poet and artist I wanted to protest at the Pope’s visit to the UK. For me that means coming up with words, a poem, a slogan – and then finding a way to make that piece visual., something that engages with the public.
When I came up with THIS POPE IS PANTS I liked the derogatory, perhaps infantile but humorous sense that PANTS evokes, and set out to spell out why this Pope is PANTS after checking out the Protest the Pope.org.uk website.
THIS POPE IS PANTS
P – Protector of paedophile priests.
A – Against abortion always, even in extreme cases, vulnerable women, rape, abuse
N – No Condoms Never leading to big families and the spread of AIDS (He’s changed his view on this since I started my protest, now male prostitutes are showing responsibility when they use condoms… it’s a start.)
T – Teaching segregation by encouraging segregated education.
S – inSulting to all Sexualities who don’t fit his narrow definition of normal.
I invited people I knew on Facebook to send me pants if they agreed with my protest and I got over 50 pairs from enthusiastic supporters. I’ve hand-stitched the briefs and y-fronts and knickers together so they hang like bunting. There are poets’ pants, artists’ pants, teachers’ pants, a pop star’s pants, mum’s pants, dad’s pants, kids’ pants, all sewn together in protest.
I hung the 3 strings of THIS POPE IS PANTS bunting on my cottage in Norfolk during the Pope’s week long visit to the UK. I was interviewed about my protest by BBC Radio Suffolk, and on North Norfolk Radio News. The letters are made of card, stapled on to each crotch.