Seeking to "reinvigorate the buzz across the country" from
its first photo of women spelling "Peace" with their naked bodies,
organizer Donna Sheehan and her group, Unreasonable Women Baring Witness,
staged a second, much larger nude peace protest and photo shoot near Point
Reyes Station on Sunday.
The sandy shore of Drakes Beach, rather than a rain-sogged Love
Field in Point Reyes Station, was the venue for some 94 women along with more
than two dozen men who created two new and separate signs for peace.
Impressed with first picture
Many women who participated in this weekends photo said they either
didnt hear of the first event until it was over, or couldnt attend
because it was during the week.
"I was impressed with the first one," said Mary Prudhomme of
Inverness and San Francisco, who said she felt like Americans opposed to the
White Houses war plans are living in a silent majority. Prudhomme decided
to join the second event.
"I just thought, this is something I wanted to do. I
have no clue if this will make a difference but figured any kind of publicity
cant be bad," said Prudhomme.
Though the first photo enjoyed a splash of success, being picked up in
local, national, and international news outlets, even organizer Sheehan conceded
the first photograph was "media-dead."
Invigorated with determination to prevent war with Iraq and a ever-growing
populate of participants, Sheehan said she decided to continue the campaign
for non-violence with another, much larger "Peace" photo.
"The more we do, the better," said Bolinas resident Vivienne
Verdon-Roe, who said the first photo inspired Bolinas residents to stage their
own version of a "Peace" photo, albeit fully-dressed and incorporating
children and dogs. A second Bolinas photo is slated for Saturday, Jan. 11,
where all who participate will create a "No War" sign with their
Bonded at shoot
Along with creating a statement for peace, the participants also bonded
at this weekends shoot.
"Theres a certain level of defiance, and its also just
a fun thing to do," she said. "And after the shot, we all got a
little wet to get the sand off."
"It was automatic," said local singer and Point Reyes Station
resident Rhiannon of camaraderie after the protest photo. "We all ran
into the cold, glorious water. It was a great moment. We were washing each
other off The whole thing was very body, very human, very physical.
And at the same time, we felt we were doing the best we can to represent the
humans who dont want to go to war."
While the women were comfortable with the second go, the mens shoot
was a new experience for all involved.
Participant Paul Reffell, despite an air of nervousness and uncertainty,
said he walked away feeling enthusiastic over the experience of men forming
a peace symbol with their bodies.
"Once we were there, we started feeling like we were involved in
something different," said Reffell. "It was like family. It was
just a wonderful thing."
Big event planned
Organizers said Sundays gathering is only the beginning for Baring
Witness, as the group plans to demonstrate in the nude as part of a mass demonstration
called the National March on Saturday, Jan. 18 on Market Street in San Francisco
and in Washington DC. Event organizers said they hope up to more than 100,000
people participate at both demonstrations, naked or clothed.
In addition to lead photographer Jan Watson of Point Reyes Station, the
event was captured by photographers Christopher Springman and Oscar-winner
John Korty, both of Point Reyes Station, as well as Michel Fraser of San Francisco
A film documentary of the groups efforts to impact politics through
naked protest and imagery is also underway, Sheehan said.
Until the demonstration in January, Sheehan and her partner Reffell
will continue spending their time "coaching and inspiring" other
people in nearly a dozen cities to create their own "peace" photos.
Copyright 2003 Point Reyes Light