Polar Rainbow is inspired by the discovery that rainbows do not exist at the North or South pole. It consists of an augmented reality sculpture accessible via a free app, that creates a virtual double rainbow stretching between the two poles along, which can be rotated across any meridian line around the globe. Currently, the rainbow crosses locations in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Egypt, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Antarctica. Many LGBTQIA+ organisations have partnered with the artist to spread the word about the project and invite their constituents to create digital postcards with the rainbow and share them on social media together with messages of support, using the hashtag #PolarRainbow.
The artist strongly believes that queer communities deserve more support and visibility, given the recent rise of homophobic bullying and anti-gay legislation around the world. The project uses the power of the rainbow as a symbol of joy, inspiration and the fight for justice, to empower the voices of the community and share their stories widely. Historically, standing for human rights has emerged from different local contexts; since then, we have developed new technologies and have created tools of inspiration and support that can globally unite communities. Ancāns’ project shows new ways of engagement that can be developed without limitation to access and what new forms global activism can take.