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The Hardest Word

01.02.2017 | Blog , Culture | BY:

At a time when liberal values are being challenged and questioned in the West, the story of George Montague‘s campaign is timely. In November 2016, George, a 93-year-old gay man, marched on Downing Street to present Theresa May with a petition signed by 16,000 people. The petition demanded an apology for the discrimination against homosexuality and the abuse that gay men endured under the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885. Before homosexuality was legalised in 1967, the act often culminated in arrests and criminal records for men persecuted for their sexual orientation.

George, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1974, brought the case to the Prime Minister on behalf of all gay men who were forced to suffer shame and embarrassment as a result of the Act.

A new film from Hilow Films invites viewers into George’s life as he embarks on his journey to No.10, celebrating his activism, sense of humour, loving nature and commitment to securing the ‘sorry’ that gay men of his generation are yet to receive. You can watch the new film exclusively below.

 

The Hardest Word from Hilow Films on Vimeo.

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ordinary

Anything but Ordinary

27.02.2012 | Art , Blog | BY:

There are many words to describe Claude Cahun: feminist, political activist, Surrealist artist, poet, writer, photographer, actress. However, the word thought-provoking seems to say it best.

Born in 1894 as Lucy Schwob in Nantes, she began practicing her most well-known form of creative expression, self portraits, at 18 years old. Produced under her pseudonym and playing between the extremes of androgyny and hyper-femininity, Cahun’s images express the idea that gender and sexuality perhaps aren’t always an A or B answer.

Involved in a life-long romantic and artistic partnership with her stepsister, and as a member of Georges Bataille’s left-wing organisation Contre-Attaque in Paris, Cahun was no stranger to controversy. In protest against the fascist regime of WWII, she distributed oppositional pamphlets combining governmental critic and poetic rhythm among the soldiers.

At a time where not even religious freedom was granted, Cahun’s defiance of political, gender, sexual and aesthetical conventions within society is remarkable. In her anti-realist, autobiographical work Aveux Nos Avenus, she wrote:  “I will follow the wake in the air, the trail on the water, the mirage in the pupil … I wish to hunt myself down, to struggle with myself.”

This internal struggle, both emotionally and on the artistic surface, helped make Cahun not only an intriguing artist, but also an inspirational legend.

Entre Nous: The Art of Claude Cahun is on display from February 25 to June 3 at The Art Institute of Chicago.
www.artic.edu

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