The laws surrounding nudity in countries around the world vary greatly. While it’s legal to walk topless on the streets of New York, posing naked among ancient Egyptian landmarks is something that’s frowned upon.
One model bravely ignored the rules, setting out across Egypt for a nude photoshoot like no other.
Marisa Papen, who hails from Belgium, has “walked wild and free in at least 50 countries” over the past two years. She described how she had rarely ended up in precarious situations “until April this year in Egypt.”
Meeting up with photographer Jesse Walker, Papen started her naked journey near the famous pyramids. The pair supposedly bribed a security guard before being stopped by two other men.
“I was suddenly completely awake, like a cold shower at 5am in the morning,” the model recalled. “We tried to explain them that we were making art with the highest respect for Egyptian culture, but they could not see a connection between nudity and art. In their eyes it was porn, or something like that.”
“Without being able to share words, I made it clear to Jesse that he had to delete the images if he saw the tiniest opportunity. Otherwise we would be screwed, big time.”
Unfortunately, the guards didn’t take kindly to having their ancient temples associated with a naked woman and threw the duo in prison.
“I knew that a prison in Egypt looks slightly different than in Belgium or any Westernised country but I had no idea what to expect before actually going in,” Papen commented.
“The first cell we encountered was packed with at least 20 men, some were passed out on the floor, some were squeezing their hands through the rails, some were bleeding and yelling.”
After several hours in a cell, Papen and Walker were brought in front of a judge who eventually gave them a warning and “told [them] never to do something so foolishly shameful ever again.”
The model hasn’t been put off sharing the photoshoot, however, calling it “something Cleopatra would have been proud of.”
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