From the mass naked photo sessions to the mass naked bike rides

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.

Spencer Tunick - Sydney Opera House

Spencer Tunick - Sydney Opera House. © Getty Images.

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)

Spencer Tunick - Barcelona 1 (Institut de Cultura) 2003

Barcelona 1 (Institut de Cultura) 2003. © Spencer Tunick.

Spencer Tunick - Switzerland, Aletsch Glacier 1 (Greenpeace) 2007

Switzerland, Aletsch Glacier 1 (Greenpeace) 2007. © Spencer Tunick.

Spencer Tunick - Düsseldorf 4 (Museum Kunst Palast) 2006

Düsseldorf 4 (Museum Kunst Palast) 2006. © Spencer Tunick.

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.

Madrid naked bike ride 2009 1

Madrid naked bike ride 2009 on Calle Gran Via, in the front of El Museo de Jamón (the museum of ham).

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!

Madrid naked bike ride 2009 2

Madrid naked bike ride 2009. Shoes, helmets, and backpacks on!

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.)

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4 Responses to “From the mass naked photo sessions to the mass naked bike rides”

  1. jake jacob
    14 April 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    When we first moved to Tucson I took my family up into the mountains and we came to a trailhead and it was a nudist area. It was weird cause all the kids had swim suits on – it was by a water fall- but all the adults were naked.

  2. Dina
    7 May 2010 at 8:38 am #

    Hi Jake, that’s interesting! I’ve never been in a nudist area before, I never guessed before that there are kids in those areas!

  3. London Photography
    28 February 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    I have been at the London World Naked Bike Ride 2009. It’s great fun!
    London Photography´s last post…Mexican Police


  1. Top 3 Pieces of Traveling Advice by Travelers Around the World | Vagabond Quest - 26 July 2010

    […] Pay attention to local events. Unique and authentic experience that color your journey. Make a point of finding out what’s going on in the city you’re visiting, and go check it out. Some of our favourite experiences have been celebrating national holidays like Bastille Day in Paris, or Australia Day in Sydney, or the Pride Parade in Toulouse and Amsterdam, or even a mass naked bike ride in Madrid! […]

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