Nudity as an African weapon: General Butt Naked and nude protest in Africa.

wexz2

I’ve been researching attitudes to nudity around the world, and one of the stranger stories I came across was that of General Butt Naked, aka Joshua Milton Blahyi. In the early 1990s, in the Liberian Civil War, he became known for his atrocities, but also for the practice of having his soldiers go to war naked, the idea being that it would terrorise the enemy (and, exceptionally oddly, that being naked made them bulletproof).

0211d0275b74a4b83de4cad361a0f65f

He was, without doubt, evil. Since the end of that civil war he has recast himself as a pastor, and he’s been the subject of a film, The Redemption of General Butt Naked.

You can watch the full movie here…

It’s harrowing, as it really brings home the full horror of a war that utilised child soldiers.

Ch4.True.Stories.2011.The.Redemption.of.General.Butt.Naked.PDTV.x264.AAC.MVGroup.Forum.mkv_snapshot_00.05.59_[2012.08.11_05.02.47]

Unknown

Blahyi was a soldier serving under the equally horrendous Charles Taylor, who campaigned for the Liberian Presidency (and won) under the banner ‘he killed my ma, he killed my pa, but I will vote for him’ !!

This is definitely one of the more weird aspects of nudity as a ‘weapon’.

Of course, nude protest in Africa has a long history and tradition, at least back to 1929.  and the likes of Femen utilising nude protest in recent years owes a debt to this history.

Old women in Ekiti protesting attempt of dark forces to subvert the will of Ekiti people on 29-04-09

Often, it seems that the thinking behind nude protest is that it represents a curse, and that women can take life away (through the curse) as well as creating it.

Women-protest-in-Uganda-3

Ugandan women protest against a land grab by stripping naked.

index

Women protest outside the ANC’s offices in South Africa

While we often think of nudity being symbolic of a form of western protests -the WNBR being a prime example- it seems that Africa also has its own unique take on nude protest.

160417705_zrFavJbX_DSC_e0225

18591249430_9f368579a7_k

18778047465_1497e9c977_k

24851924159_b8cd555ffa_k

24966948566_5b72cd8349_o

LA1

 Some WNBR photos, protesting against oil dependency 

While WNBR is ‘fun’ to highlight a specific concern, sometimes nude protest occurs in response to serious matters, such as the murder of Mexican students last year.

1108259

1108261

1108262

1108263

1108264

1108265

1108266

1108267

 

Ella covered the topic of these murders in SL Naturist last year.

 

 

Trine

3 thoughts on “Nudity as an African weapon: General Butt Naked and nude protest in Africa.

  1. Pingback: Nudity as an African weapon: General Butt Naked and nude protest in Africa. | Nudie News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s