By publishing a nude, on her own blog, a 20 years Egyptian has launched a new line of thought in the Arab Spring.
An example of Arab intellectual and physical courage. She is Egyptian. From Alexandria. She is young. And, when you read her blog, her comments on his official page on the Internet, one is struck by his maturity. Its determination.
No, Contrary to what some say, it is not crazy. It is not a "charmouta" (a whore, in Egyptian Arabic). In her own way, it gives meaning to the Arab revolution. She replaces it. The redefined. The first back to where it all begins: the body. Her own body.
Monday night, later, I received an email from a friend who is in Cairo right now. An electronic link with him. He said: "Have you seen this: arebelsdiary.blogspot.com/2011…? Zx = 2d9166ad6825ba22? Incredible! ".
Just amazing!? It's more than that. This is a major event. Beyond anything that could be expected of young and beautiful Arab Revolutionary. This gesture will remain artistic. This beautiful image, controversial, became a speed record fame. It is already a symbol.
Out of the veil
Because it is an image. A simple little picture. It is the naked body of a young Arab woman. That of Magda Elmahdy Aliaa. She herself who took this picture. In the room of her parents. It was she who decided to publish this self-portrait on her blog written in Arabic and that title: "Modakkirat Taéra: Fan Aari" ("Diary of a Revolutionary Art naked"). A little Arabic text with it.
"Start by judging the models who posed nude at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts until the early 70's, hide all the art books and break the statues of nudes in museums, then remove your clothes, look in the mirror, burn your body you despise finally to get rid of your sexual frustrations, do all this before you insult me, send me your comments racist and deny me the right to speak freely ".
More than a program. This is an invitation to ask seriously, in the Arab world who live the revolution and still reluctant to go to the end of this historical movement, real questions. Out of the theory. Of ignorance. The veil. The sails. To look at yourself better look at the other.
More than a program. A clear move. Natural. Something very innocent. No vulgarity. No evil. A free action. A free body. A free voice. A challenge. Questions. A reversal. Of politics.
Better than a debate between experts from the Arab world. More important than a feminist discourse of another era. Boldness. A vision. And sacrifice. For this girl, beautiful and strong, pay himself. Assumes her naked body. Talk to her real name. From a world that she has no intention to leave Alexandria, Egypt. It is the next generation. These young Arabs began, initiated the Revolution and we are trying to avoid right now. These young people are today. They are better than us, that I the future. The dangers. And before perhaps being forced on us, again another type of political and religious obscurantism, they go, they go out, invest a free territory, the Internet, are inspiring action, jostling everybody, put things in perspective first.
The Revolution is freedom. Without censorship. Even shocking. Even disturbing. Aliaa Elmahdy Magda believes. She has participated in all stages of the dispute in Egypt. And she takes this new period to remind us that there is in the Arab world truly free spirits who are tired of living hidden. She believes in preparing the ground for others. To change. For real. To lay bare. For real. To look without shame.
She said: "My body belongs to me first. It is not for my parents or my friend. I do what I want. I'm going through. "
This is not naive. This is sincere. Everything in this blog feel the sincerity and courage. And reflection. Next to the counter (which displays 1,026,332 visitors as I write this paper), there is another photo of Magda Aliaa Elmahdy: it is taken out at night, right next to a sign on which is written: "Place of waiting for freedom." Above the photo, a little phrase: "Freedom is not given, it pulls."
The break in the body
Publication of this photo, as you can guess, attracted many comments. Attacks raining, of course. But there is also support. Congratulations. Of questions. You have to read the comments, all. It is a rare document, for later, for historians. What is expressed is simply exciting. Another face in the Arab world. A real debate.
Aliaa Elmahdy Magda has not only made the buzz. By this gesture "radical", it allows others to ask the question of nudity. In both literally and figuratively. And by the same movement, leads to other essential questions: art, religion, God, respectability, individuality, the limits of freedom. And this essential question: What is art?
Her self-portrait reminds me of the paintings of the famous French-Polish painter Balthus. His paintings of naked girls aroused much controversy in the 60 and 70.
The image of Aliaa in this direction. Provocation necessary. Eroticism which casts doubt, trouble, takes you off the beaten track. And, maybe it's an exaggeration, I can not help but think of the famous painting of the French painter Eugene Delacroix "Liberty Leading the People." Marianne, the bare chest, which guide the people toward the Revolution in 1789.
Another gesture comes to my mind. Taha Hussein who dared to say: "Give me a red pen so I can correct the Koran."
Make sense ...
In all these cases, you should remember that critical thinking is expressed freely, that pushes our prejudices, and most importantly, does not remain confined in a space frequented only by intellectuals and shy away from realities . A mind that knock on the door of everyone who speaks to everyone and pushes everyone to respond, to take a position.
As Zineb El Rhazoui and her famous picnic in the month of Ramadan in 2009 is what Aliaa Elmahdy Magda is trying to accomplish right now.
There are only a few months, do not forget, the Movement of 20 February pushed the Moroccans into the territory and also forced many of them to change. A walk in the street. Demonstrate. Crier. While denouncing the political and social injustices, young Moroccans also asked the same questions as Aliaa Elmahdy Magda.
Who are we? Where are we going?
The blog of a young Egyptian is a great laboratory to try to answer all these questions. Aliaa application that frees Arab brains and for her, secularism is the answer.
This girl and her artistic photos of nude male and female, is probably the most revolutionary of all of us. The welcome, encourage, give meaning to her action, is more than a duty. A historical necessity.