Here is an interesting blog, from an Egyptian woman, a 20-year-old college student named Aliaa Magda Elmahdy. http://arebelsdiary.blogspot.com/?zx=ed093cc531978182 I found about from Ferds other site, “In Bona Fide”. As well as containing nudes photographs of herself, it contains both erotic art and photography from and by Egyptians.
According to Jezebel: “20-year-old college student Aliaa Magda Elmahdy has sparked outrage in Egypt by posting naked photos of herself to her blog as a protest against the country’s conservative culture. She says she’s upholding the spirit of the revolution, but in addition to conservative Islamists, she’s angered liberals who believe the scandal will hurt them during the country’s parliamentary election next week, the first since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted.”
The blog has only one entry from late October, but already has 1.5 million views.
I am not sure what the exact political situation is in Egypt right now, and there is certainly the real threat of an Islamist state taking hold, but this blog shows how people from all over the world, even in societies that are drenched in religious fundamentalism, desire to express eroticism in different ways. I am sure there must be other blogs of this nature out there in such societies, but this is the first I have seen. The phenomena of eroticism is part of human nature. We see it in all times, all places, all throughout history.
As the New York times reports, she expresses her reasons for her blog in a statement:
“Try nude models who worked in Fine Art Faculties in the early 1970s, hide all art books and smash naked archaeological statues,” read the statement, alluding to some recent protests staged here by ultra-conservative Islamists known as Salafis. “Then take off your clothes and look at yourselves in the mirror, then burn your body that you so despise to get rid of your sexual complexes forever, before subjecting me to your bigoted insults or denying my freedom of expression.”
As I have written recently on this blog, I believe religious fundamentalism is a dire threat to our world today, both politically, intellectually, and culturally. She is reporting in this statement how the religious nut cases in Egypt are smashing naked archeological statues, burning art books, and trying nude models. As I wrote in my post on Michelangelo’s David recently, the religious fanatics in this country, Catholic and Protestant, The Legion of Christ cultists and the Opus Dei wackos, would not hesitate to do the same things to art works here that they deemed offensive.
I have a friend who is Egyptian. A few months ago on a warm, late summer day we were both enjoying the visual pleasures of different women. It was a jovial occasion, one that reveals how men are really the same, no matter where they come from. All men enjoy the sights of attractive women.
Only the religious fundamentalist fanatics of today are adamantly opposed to the pursuit or expression of eroticism in different forms. They will destroy everything they deem offensive. They will even kill you if they find you offensive. After all, they hang homosexuals in Iran, for simply being gay. If you convert to Christianity in Saudi Arabia, you can be executed.
The fight for true freedom in our time is now against religious fundamentalist conservatives. Let them gain power, and they will take away your freedoms, even your life, all in the name of their God.