Iranians in Iran join Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar

Young members of the Worker-communist Party of Iran who live in Iran have joined the scream! Since they would be executed for this act, their faces are covered with slogans saying ‘Long Live Women’s Freedom’, ‘No to Hejab’, ‘No to Islamic Rule’, ‘No to Gender Discrimination’ and ‘No to Islamic Reaction’. They have printed the calendar and pasted it behind them. This photo has made my day.


Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar is Here!

To download the Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar, click here.

En Francais

تقویم انقلابیون برهنه

On 8 March 2012 International Women’s Day, the Nude Photo Revolutionaries Calendar was launched in homage to Egyptian atheist, student and blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy who posted a nude photo of herself, announcing the post on Twitter under the hashtag, #NudePhotoRevolutionary.

The calendar is the idea of campaigner Maryam Namazie to support Aliaa Magda Elmahdy and join her ‘screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy’.

Namazie says: ‘What with Islamism and the religious right being obsessed with women’s bodies and demanding that we be veiled, bound, and gagged, nudity breaks taboos and is an important form of resistance.’


The calendar is designed by SlutWalk Co-founder Toronto, Sonya JF Barnett who says: ‘I felt that women needed to stand in solidarity with Aliaa. It takes a lot of guts to do what she did, and the backlash is always expected and can quite hurtful. She needed to know that there are others like her, willing to push the envelope to express outrage.’

Others who join the ‘scream’ include mother and daughter Anne Baker and Poppy Wilson St James, teacher Luisa Batista, We are Atheism Founder Amanda Brown, atheist bloggers Greta Christina and Emily Dietle, FEMEN activist Alena Magelat, photographer Mallorie Nasrallah, actress Cleo Powell, freethinker Nina Sankari , writer Saskia Vogel, and mother Maja Wolna. The women are photographed by Julian Baker, Adam Brown, Grzegorz Brzezicki, Lucy Fox-Bohan, Agnieszka Hodowana, Ben Hopper, N. Maxwell Lander, Mallorie Nasrallah, Mark Neurdenburg, Vitaliy Pavlenko, and Michael Rosen.

On nudity and the calendar, Mallorie Nasrallah says: ‘When a tool of oppression can be turned in to an assertion of power, it is a beautiful thing. Nudity when celebrated harms no one, and when made shameful and barbaric harms everyone.’ Nina Sankari says: ‘In solidarity with Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, I would like to stress that our bodies (and thoughts) belong to us and to nobody else.’ Anne Baker says ‘Men in frocks constrain, control and intimidate women the world over in the name of God … it has to stop.’ Greta Christina says: ‘Sexual freedom is an important freedom — but it’s one that commonly gets ignored or trivialized.’ Maja Wolna says: ‘Irrespective of sex, sexual orientation, religion or culture we are equal. Personal dignity is a foundation of human civilization.’ Amanda Brown says: ‘Dogma will never determine where I sit, what I wear, or how I live’ and Poppy Wilson St. James says: ‘I find it strange that it is more acceptable to see on screen violence and guns than even a nipple. There is something wrong with our mindset if that is what we accept as the norm and shy away from nudity which is a completely natural state’.

Saskia Vogel says: ‘This calendar hopefully will reach people who are uncomfortable with empowered female nudity, and encourage them to reconsider their feelings about the nude figure.’ Luisa Batista says: ‘I think the calendar is important, because it may help to open people’s eyes and hearts. Women – and men – who are afraid, may find courage and feel supported by the quotes and faces and bodies of the people in the calendar.’

According to Emily Dietle, ‘If it weren’t for people who took a strong stand against misogyny and for free-expression, we’d still be in an age where showing your ankles was taboo.’ Alena Magelat says: ‘Our naked body is our challenge to patriarchy, dictatorship and violence. Smart people we inspire; dictators are horrified’.

The women in the calendar stand firm in solidarity with Aliaa Magda Elmahdy and the countless women across the world who are denied basic rights, freedoms and dignity.

Join the ‘Scream’ on Facebook and on Twitter under the hashtag #NudePhotoRevolutionary.

To Download the Calendar, click here.

To purchase a copy of the Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar via Paypal, click below. Your support is important. BUY A CALENDAR TODAY! Proceeds will go towards supporting women’s rights and free expression.

To see a video of Iranian women in support of the calendar, produced by Reza Moradi, view below or click here.

Here is another act of solidarity from a group of women and men in Iran and one from two women in Iran.

To read Maryam Namazie’s interview with NOW Lebanon on ‘stripping for Iran’, click here.

To see extensive media coverage on the Nude Calendar, click here.

To leave comments on this, click here.

For more information, contact:
Maryam Namazie
BM Box 1919
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731

The calendar is not the same as tabloids like the Sun

Azar Majedi of the Organisation of Women’s Liberation in Iran has just published a piece in Persian attacking the Nude Revolutionary Calendar and the video of Iranian women supporting it as ‘absurd caricatures’ of Aliaa Magda Elmahdy and Golshifteh Farhani’s nudity and attempts at ‘self-promotion’, ‘dim-witted idiocy’ and acts of ‘buffoonery’. She likens the Calendar to the tabloids (like the Sun) which use women’s nudity to increase profit and says the calendar defends rights no more than the tabloids do. Moreover, she says nudity in the west takes no courage at all.

What Azar doesn’t see is that nudity is not the problem; it’s the commodification and objectification of women’s bodies that are. To see the Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar of women showing solidarity with a young Egyptian woman under attack as one and the same as a tabloid that sells dehumanised women’s bodies for profit misses entirely the point of the Calendar and for that matter Aliaa’s own actions. The Calendar is an organised act by women themselves reclaiming a tool used for suppression. It may not be considered courageous by Azar but nudity in this manner is not as easy as it may seem.

It’s interesting how nudity outrages so many people – including Azar. This is partly because of the internalisation of society’s image of women’s bodies as something obscene that sells papers. Whilst Islamists often portray their vile politics as a prescription for the debasement of women in western societies, their image of women is very much the same and it is these viewpoints that have coloured much of the perceptions of nudity. [Read more…]

Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar to be published here on 8 March

The Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar will be published here on 8 March 2012 to mark International Women’s Day.

. تقويم  انقلابيون برهنه ٬ يک ابتکار اعتراضي بين المللي  هشت مارس روز جهاني زن آمده خواهد شد

[Read more…]

Religion and pornography are in the same business

The Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar will be out on 8 March to mark International Women’s Day. Here Fariborz Pooya writes a piece in its defence:

Late last year, Egyptian blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy’s nude self-portrait was condemned by Islamists as obscene and for undermining the morality of society. They demanded her prosecution from the very military that had imposed virginity tests on protesters in Tahrir Square. She was also admonished by liberals and post modernist leftists for damaging the cause of liberation and women in Egypt.

In February this year, Iranian actress, Golshifteh Farahani, appeared partially nude in Jean-Baptiste Mondino’s ‘Corps et Âmes’ (Bodies and Souls) as well as in the French magazine Madame Le Figaro. In response, she was banned from returning to Iran by the Islamic regime and some segments of the Iranian religious-nationalists reprimanded her for vulgarity.

Clearly, these are age-old prejudices, which use and abuse the female body as a means of control, violence and oppression.

All religions, including the Judeo-Christian tradition and Islam, have always viewed the ‘flesh’ as disgusting, shameful, sinful and a desecration of god. In the contemporary world, however, this point of view has taken on a new role and impetus in order to keep women in their place based on a comprehensive system of abuse.

Religion’s view of the body and the flesh is essentially pornographic. Pornography and religion are in the same business. Religion like pornography and the pornographic gaze relies on objectification and the creation of an abstract image outside of reality. Religion’s pornographic lens encapsulates all the history of oppression in a patriarchal society. Religion merges into pornography as it shares the same approach to flesh and sexuality by creating a false abstract universality devoid of uniqueness, reality, and humanity and its conditions. In the religious pornographer’s gaze, the image is of an abstracted and dehumanized woman. Both men and women have no social existence, are not subject to change and influence and have no role in shaping their environment; sexuality is forever given and immutable. [Read more…]

Sharia Law – Divine Claims and Harsh Realities

I’m back from a really good panel discussion on secularism in Ghent. I’ll post my talk when I manage to type it up but am madly working with Sonya Barnett of SlutWalk to finish up the Nude Photo Revolutionaries Calendar, which is looking quite beautiful, thanks to Sonya. We’re sending it off to the printers tomorrow.

In case you are in London, Pakistani Human Rights Lawyer Sundas Hoorain and I will be speaking at the LSE KSW.1.04 opposite the Peacock Theatre tomorrow 5 March 2012, 7-8.30pm on “Sharia law – Divine claims and harsh realities” . The event is organised by the LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society. A map of the location can be found here. Hope to see some of you there.

Only secular values are universal

I am soon off to Ghent, where I will be speaking on a panel Saturday morning on whether there can be universal values other than secular ones. I think not. Here are details:

‘Freethinking Women’s Organisation of Oost-Vlaanderen’ has organised a debate on 3 March 2012 in Ghent, Belgium on ‘Can universal values be other than secular values?’ Speakers are: Muslim Feminist Nahed Selim, MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld, and politician Ann Brusseel and campaigner Maryam Namazie. The event begins at 10.00am and will be held at Geuzenhuis gent, Kantienberg 9, 9000 Gent. Here is more information.

Will be back blogging on Sunday.