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.
The calendar is now SOLD OUT. Thanks to all who supported the project. You can still donate via Paypal to support an international conference on women’s rights, free expression and secularism to be held in London in March 2014.
To see a video of Iranian women in support of the calendar, produced by Reza Moradi, view below or click here.
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.