Yesterday I, along with thousands of others, took part in the International Day to Defend Amina. I was honoured to be painted by talented body artist Victoria Gugenheim (@quirkathon), who also painted herself and the extraordinary Maryam Namazie (@MaryamNamazie) - follow both if you don't already!
We each started with our individual paintings:
... and later in the day Victoria amalgamated the three into a single image:
I don't know about either Maryam or Victoria, but for me the prospect of being seen topless by potentially thousands of people was nerve-wracking. I'll admit that when I received the photos I did consider chickening out of posting them, but reminding myself that - unlike Amina - I faced no danger in doing so was enough to make me do it.
If you're not well up on Amina's story, I recommend Maryam's blog.
Amina represents millions of women all over the world who do not share the basic freedoms I - and probably you - take for granted. Posting these images made me nervous, but not because I imagined for a moment that anybody might lock me away, beat me or threaten to kill me - as has happened to Amina for having the temerity to treat her body as her own property. As a woman lucky enough to live in a country where my rights are protected, I wanted to use my body both to show Islamists that their scare-tactics will not work and to remind other liberals, secularists and feminists that the fight is not over yet.
If you haven't already, please sign and share this petition to the Tunisian government to ensure Amina's safety.