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Naked selfies inspire travellers but worry authorities

January 11, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A man travelling the world and posting photos of himself naked at various sites now has a female counterpart – a woman who takes tasteful nude self-portraits during her travels and posts them for the world to see.

It is not known if the two have met. Nude tourism – or the daring pursuit of taking naked selfies against well-known backdrops, has triggered a spate of arrests, with authorities in Asia, South America and elsewhere warning tourists that wanton nudity is not part of local culture.

Israeli tourist Amichay Rab travelled South America, regularly posting photos of himself naked at various sites around the continent, including at Machu Picchu. His website, My Naked Trip, has achieved cult status among followers of naked South American tourism.

Aminchay Rab in Chile (pronounced chilly in this instance)

Rab always observes decorum, ensuring that vital portions of his anatomy are covered in his published shots.

So does the female nude traveller, Polish woman Magdalena Wosinska, who prefers Instagram as the vehicle for her photography. Wosinska’s Instagram site has notched up 128,000 followers at last count.

Wosinska describes herself as a “photographer with a lust for life”. She assures followers that her naked selfies do not aim to be sexually provocative, but make a statement about the social class system, and how clothes play a major part in it.

Tourist Amichay Rab poses naked at Machu Picchu

 

Wosinska is an excellent photographer, not just of herself, as can be seen by her website: http://magdalenawosinska.com/overview She moved from Poland to the US while young and has been taking photos since she was 14.

“We were really poor growing up, and when I shot self-portraits for a class assignment, I thought, ‘Well, f…, I don’t have any nice clothes. I can’t afford nice clothes’. So, I took my clothes off,” she told US lifestyle website, Sakara.

Magdalena Wosinska with two friends in Taos, New Mexico

 

The ease and speed of taking naked selfies in photogenic places and uploading them dares some travellers to try. Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has warned Australians about public nudity. DFAT advises visitors to Cambodia that “nudity in public places or at sacred sites, including Angkor Wat, can result in arrest and deportation”. It warns visitors to the Caribbean that “public nudity in non-designated areas and indecent language can lead to arrest”.

Similar warnings apply elsewhere, including in Peru, where tourists are periodically arrested for stripping naked at the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu and taking photos.

America’s CNN network referred to an incident in which a naked couple was filmed by other tourists “while streaking across Machu Picchu’s grass field and bounding down a stone staircase like a pair of adolescent antelopes”.

Peru’s Ministry of Culture says visiting Machu Picchu naked is “disrespectful” and contrary to the region’s cultural heritage. A  crackdown was ordered a couple of years ago.

Magdalena Wosinska travelling light

 

For those who persist in taking nude travel selfies, it helps to be young and fit. Quite apart from the aesthetics,  youth and fitness come in handy if you have to run away in a hurry.

Written by Peter Needham

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