Today is International Women’s Day and to get the day off to a good start, the Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar is going to be launched. This calendar is a tribute to Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, the Egyptian blogger who posted nude pictures of herself to protest against sexual discrimination in Islam.
Aliaa, a student of Media and Communication at the American university in Cairo, originally published the pictures to complain against the ban on nude models on Egyptian universities and books.
The calendar is the creation of human rights activist and campaigner Maryam Namazie and was designed by SlutWalk founder Toronto Sonya Barnett.
“Put the models who worked at the Faculty of Fine Arts until the early 1970s on trial,” she told her critics. “Hide art books and smash nude archaeological statues, then take your clothes off and look at yourselves in the mirror. Burn your self-despised bodies in order to get rid of your sexual complexes forever, before directing your sexist insults at me or denying me the freedom of expression.
“Islamism and the religious right are obsessed with women’s bodies,” said Namazie. “They demand that we be veiled, bound, and gagged. In the face of this assault, nudity breaks taboos and is an important form of resistance.”
“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.”
For more information and to view and purchase a copy of the Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar, visit Namazie’s blog.
Proceeds from the calendar will go towards supporting women’s rights and free expression.