After 3 weeks of amazing trip in the North Island, New Zealand (stories coming, I promise), we were back in Sydney last Sunday, February the 28th. Today my friend told me I just missed 2 big events in Sydney. The first one was the Mardi Gras parade and fireworks on Saturday, just right a day before we came. I thought previously it was going to be on Sunday, so I actually was excited the whole day to see how things would be going, since I’ve never been in a Mardi Gras event before. However I saw nothing and later informed that it was on the previous day. I was late, bummer!
The second one was the organized mass naked photograph of more than 5000 people in Sydney Opera House, by Spencer Tunick.
This great American artist is well known for his mass naked photographs in interesting formations and backgrounds in all over the world. Here are some great photographs by him. (Pictures taken from here)
We were actually already in Sydney during this photograph session, which is in the morning of March 1st, however we haven’t been reading news for a while when we were on road in NZ, so we had no idea.
While I missed such an interesting event, this reminded me of our interesting encounter with bunch of naked Spanish cyclists. This was back in June 13th, 2009 in Madrid. That morning I and my husband moved from our second Madrid accommodation to the third one. We took the metro, and as we coming up from the underground station to the artery road Calle Gran Via, we were astonished of what we saw: A huge group of cyclists, all nude! Just strolling down the road cheerily. Wow, I’d never seen such a thing!! I thought it was bizarre.
They were real people. I mean, not models. Real people with their real various body shapes. From young to old, male and female. Some carried a little bag in their naked body, some wear only top and let the half body down exposed (not a common choice for typical men!). A few of the women were wearing bikini bottoms, made me wonder was that because they wanted to cover up a bit, or it was just not comfortable sitting naked on a bicycle seat on a hot day. There were also little kids, even though they were more covered up. For some, even though they exposed their whole body to possible bicycle accidents, they still remembered to use their helmet!
Later on we found out what was going on. Apparently it was a demonstration against the dominance of the car. These more than 100 cyclists wanted to say that they felt “naked in heavy traffic of cities” by showing their “fragile bodies”. They wanted cyclists to be more respected. They wanted cars to respect the speed limits, and wanted the construction of more bike lanes through out the cities. The ride was organized by Manifestacion Ciclonudista (unfortunately their website is in Spanish), and they have been doing this every year in June since 2004. Up to thousands of nude cyclists each year have participated in this events in several cities across Spain including Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Granada. Apparently this is also a trend worldwide, check out the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR). I saw pictures of events at least from Auckland, Seattle, and Vancouver, even though it was banned in some places like in Cape Town, South Africa. So, do you feel like participating? The WNBR website will tell you how!
Where and when:
1. Mass naked bike ride: Madrid, 13 Jun 2009
2. Mass naked photography: Sydney, 28 Feb – 1 Mar 2010
(In a sad note, as we left NZ, a planned Spencer Tunick inspired nude photo shoot at Breaker Bay, Wellington NZ, by photographer Binh Trinh was canceled due to a tsunami warning. What made me sad is not the photo session being canceled, but the cause of the tsunami warning: the massive earthquake of 8.8 magnitude scale that hit Chile on 27 Feb. My deepest sympathy goes to the victims.)