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My Body Sleeps Next To Me: Human Nudity As Weapons of War

This artwork was created as a response to the following report:

September 14 | Paris : Two Femen protesters received a merciless drubbing by 20-25 odd men when they stormed the stage of a Muslim conference topless. The women, 25 and 31, were arrested by the police later on for trying to sabotage the conference. The incident happened during an allegedly controversial conference which was being held in Paris by Muslim hardliners, on the “role of women”. According to the Femen activist, Inna Shevchenko, the women made a dash to the stage and took the mics. She alleged that two speakers were discussing “whether wives should be beaten or not”. The activists were among the audience wearing burqas which they discarded, and went on stage topless.

One of the women bore the slogan “I am my own prophet” on her torso, while the other woman’s upper half was inked in “No one subjugates me.”

They started voicing their views in Arabic and in French. They were, within a matter of seconds, dragged out of view, as one of them explicitly received kicks and punches in the free-fall which ensued.

Shevchenko further told the media that the audience jeered at the women and called them “dirty whores” and threatened to “kill them”. During the conference, the traditional roles of women were being discussed by the speakers and they praised the feminine aspects of women which they said can be found in cooking and shopping for the household.

Femen is a Ukrainian feminist group and is based in Paris. Its activists are famous for taking out rallies and flash-mobs against acts of sexism and sex-tourism prevalent in Europe’s many countries.

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What is striking here is , why the human body or more specifically the body of a woman looked down upon with precise indignation or better still, how did we evolve into beings who are scared to look at our own bodies? Touching oneself too is never appreciated, one must find oneself in the other and touch the other, love the other. Have we been able to separate ourselves from our bodies so much so that we can employ our bodies to become weapons of a terrorist propaganda? Because what might seem as terrorism to one might be a carnivalesque protest for the other. I am unaware of what other reasons might have led to such violent reactions at the seminar in Paris.

What about exposed body parts of a woman is a terrifying sight, what about voluntarily topless women storming the stage where a seminar which discusses the necessities of beating up women is being held, makes men want to mutilate their bodies? Why are naked breasts such an aberration ? Scantily covered breasts however are a sensation. One wishes to merely wonder, to imagine, one doesn’t wish to see. Because seeing might lead to wanting to destroy. We cant therefore tolerate the sight of our naked bodies .

This has been a part of our evolution I suppose, we evolved into beings who require clothing, however less but clothing, nevertheless, for our bodies to be desired.

Will the anarchist revolution therefore be nudist?

I wonder, because

Being naked requires nothing

Also

Nudity scares like nothing does.

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Upasana Chakraborty is the newest member of EAC and is an artist, poet, activist and feminist.

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