Tag Archives: Femen

Femen, Naked Protest and Brown Bodies

A really good introduction to Femen’s action (International Topless Jihad Day) to save their oppressed sisters would be an excellent article, ‘Femen’s obsession with nudity feeds a racist colonial feminism’, by Chitra Nagarajan that contextualizes the action within larger frameworks of struggles in Feminism and with black feminists.


She also explores and destroys the idea that Feminism originates in the west here: 



Mona Chollet, in her article ‘The Fast-Food Feminism of the Topless Femen’, writes about Femen and how the group’s actions/ language/rhetoric is finding affinities with far right groups in France here: 


Maya Mikdashi writes a brilliant article, Waiting for Alia, looking at nudity in the Arab world through the making and circulation of a photograph of Magda Alia al-Mahdy where she poses nude. She pits this against the framework of how nude female bodies are used for consumption within a capitalistic market.


Sara M Salem, in her article ‘Femen’s Neocolonial Feminism: When Nudity becomes a uniform’, explores the colonial aspect of ‘western’ feminism and what it means for Alia al-Mahdi to collaborate with Femen.


Sara Mourad, in her article ‘The Naked Bodies of Alia’, looks at the nude photograph posted by Alia al -Mahdy and the video posted by Femen about an action in Stockholm in which Al-Mahdy takes part.


Sara Emiline Abu Ghazal. http://www.sawtalniswa.com/2011/11/who-is-afraid-of-alias-nudity/


Maryam Kazeem. Bodies That Matter: The African History of Naked Protest, FEMEN Aside.



A response, that resonates with the work of the artist Gillian Wearing, by Muslim women to Femen: Muslim Women Against Femen and #MuslimahPride

And for an excellent paper on Naked protest in India by Deepti Misri: “Are you a man?” Performing Naked Protest in India. It looks at the protest by Meitei women in July 2004 against the torture, rape and murder of Thangjam Manorama by the Army. It also looks at the July 2007 naked protest by Pooja Chauhan in Gujarat. She says “In this article I want to consider what it might mean for women in India to deploy nakedness as a tool of embodied resistance against thepatriarchal violence of the state. What is the cultural imaginary from which these radical protests materialized? How and to what extent do such protests succeed in interrogating the gendered violence of the state as well as the patriarchal scripts underlying gendered violence more generally?”

Another interesting article here: Sextremism: really as radical as they think? by Zoel Holman. The introduction to it says

“Where the female body – through its societal projections in media, art, politics and religion – has always formed the first port of women’s oppression, it is necessary to consider whether attempts to reclaim it through topless protests in the public arena are more likely to defy or to reify existing, repressive paradigms, says Zoe Holman”