Swiss Town Launches Bizarre Naked Performance Art Festival

The festival has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money. Photo: Body and Freedom Festival via wemakeit.com
Flyers and posters warn pedestrians of the presence of nudists. Photo: Body and Freedom Festival via wemakeit.com

Flyers and posters inform pedestrians of the presence of nudists.
Photo: Body and Freedom Festival via wemakeit.com

The Body and Freedom Festival, which bills itself as the world’s first ever festival for “naked performing in urban space,” will take place for the first time this summer in the sleepy Swiss town of Biel.

From August 21-22, the festival seeks to attracts nude performance artists from around Europe, who will perform in the nude to consenting audiences. The weekend-long event aims to contribute to the dissolution of taboos surrounding nudity.

Organizers have launched a crowd-funding campaign to gather the remaining CHF3,000 ($3,134) required to pay for accommodations, photographers, festival booklets, and posters.

The festival’s initiator, Thomas Zollinger, told 20 Minuten, “I hope for the support of many friends of nakedness.”

“Today everything that can be shown and performed in galleries or theaters may also be shown and performed in urban spaces—only the naked body seems to remain a taboo,” he lamented.

The festival has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money. Photo: Body and Freedom Festival via wemakeit.com

The festival has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money.
Photo: Body and Freedom Festival via wemakeit.com

The 62-year-old hopes that the festival will change this. According to the crowd-funding page, the event promises to answer “a cross-section of questions about the presentation of the naked body in public spaces.”

To entice people to donate, Zollinger devised a number of unusual incentives. For CHF111.55 ($116.54), “one can participate in the naked procession outside the church,” together with the “professionals.”

And for CHF280 ($292), donors can look forward to an invitation to a “naked lunch.”

The festival attracts naked performance artists from around Europe. Photo: Body and Freedom Festival via wemakeit.com

The festival attracts naked performance artists from around Europe.
Photo: Body and Freedom Festival via wemakeit.com

For CHF880 ($919) donors can buy the whole package, which includes participating in the “naked procession,” taking part in the “naked lunch,” and an exclusive meeting with the initiator.

The festival has not announced whether Swiss nude performance art star, Milo Moiré, will make the trip to Biel to attend the celebrations. At least she won’t be arrested, like in Paris, if she performs the officially sanctioned event.


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