Friday, March 23, 2007Home

Nude Photography to Save the Trees

On March 17 in Berkeley, California, a group of more than 100 protesters took a new approach to the tried-and-true formula of environmentalist protest. Instead of chaining themselves to the trees, the activists took off their clothes and allowed themselves to be photographed. Jack Gescheidt had a very limited time to capture the black-and-white images of naked bodies draped on majestic trees, due to the threat of arrest for indecent exposure.

The reason for the protest was, as is usually the case, a proposed construction project. A new
UC Berkeley athletic training center is planned to be built over the Memorial Oak Grove on campus. People of all ages took part in the project, including members of the activist group Save the Oaks at the Stadium.

From The Daily Californian:

The session was held as part of Gescheidt’s TreeSpirit Project, a collection of portraits depicting nude people amongst trees. The compilation stresses the “inter-connectedness” of people and nature and attempts to inspire people to feel the power of trees, Gescheidt said.

Gescheidt, who has produced more than 40 portraits of naked people in trees, said he has never been arrested during a session. He expressed dismay at the police presence but said they were polite and respectful.

Some of the images are now on view at Gescheidt’s website, as well as a YouTube video documenting the project.


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