17 November 2015
Over in the UK, a portrait of the father of the modern computer, Alan Turing, made from the blood of gay men, is part of a campaign calling for a review of the UK’s law which prevents gay and bisexual men from donating blood within a year of having sex.
The portrait was made using the blood of gay doctors who support a review of the UK law. Currently men who have sex with men are unable to donate blood unless they abstain from sex for 12 months, in Northern Ireland this ban is permanent.
The artist, Conor Collins, says that Alan Turing, the man who broke the Nazi’s Enigma Code, was chosen as the subject because of his anonymous act that saved many lives. He says if Turning was alive now he too would be prevented from giving blood.
“Countless people want to do something amazing by donating blood, but are unable to,” says Collins. “They’re our friends, our neighbours, nurses and doctors; yet they cannot help. It’s time to look again at this policy.”