Last November, atheist Egyptian blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahady posted a nude photo of herself on her blog, tweeting and tagging it #NudePhotoRevolutionary. She and her boyfriend were then criminally charged with "violating morals, inciting indecency and insulting Islam" -- spurring activists to "take back the nude photo," as it were. When blogger and activist Maryam Namazie got wind of this, she decided to take on the project of the Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar -- and stand in solidarity with Elmahady.
While Elmahady's initial post was a response to the Islamic belief that women should be covered in public, the calendar aims to defy the extreme religious right's insistence on policing women's bodies in general. Art model and writer Saskia Vogel decided to pose for the calendar to raise further questions about how body-shaming is used as a tool to silence women, and wrote a Feministing guest post:
"Do [people who advocate censorship of the naked body] feel that they have to take the world to task for urges they cannot reconcile within themselves? This impulse to censor all expressions of the naked female body speaks to an anxiety about the body, which extends to anxiety about (female) sexuality...To create a culture that thinks sanely about sex and the body, we still need to assert the idea that a woman's body is not a source of shame and not in need of regulation by the government."
Thirteen other women also posed nude for the calendar to rebel against the laws that attack women's rights and bodies all around the world, and are pictured alongside short quotations from each. The quote beside Maryam Namazie reads: "My body is not obscene; veiling it is." The .pdf of the calendar is available here, it can be purchased here, and a short video featuring the calendar's models can be watched here: