In all times, men and women have stood against the current conformity, disrupting the social, religious or political beliefs of their eras. The price to pay for such audacity is often painful: arrest, torture or death are the result for these lives going against the tide.
Vladimir Steyaert shines a light on lives buried or disfigured by history. This project had as its genesis the discovery of Alan Turing’s life. Brilliant British scientist, Turing deciphered the Nazi codes at the height of the Second World War. Why was his legacy buried when his work was so instrumental in the Allied victory? Because he was a homosexual, an intolerable fact in the puritanism of the after war period.
Other figures join Turing. Giordano Bruno, a Dominican friar, died at the hands of the Inquisition in the 16th century; he supported Copernicus’ theories which led him to being burned at the stake. Camille Claudel paid dearly for her status as a women artist. She died in 1943 in an insane asylum in the Vaucluse, and her art, unrecognized in her lifetime finally saw the light of day during the eighties. Chelsea Manning, an American military analyst, was incarcerated for treason. Her crime: having made public classified Department of Defense documents detailing war crimes committed by the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. So many lives that resonate now as humanity tries to reinvent itself.