Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

NUDE POSERS IN BERKELEY TREE

nude tree people

I am not sure as to how to frame the above photo. NUDES IN A TREE would seem to be an appropriate caption. But some might argue that the caption does not provide a protest discourse since without an initial organized protest this photo would never have been taken.

And what was the nature of the protest?

Last year, the University of California announced that it was going to build a new athletic training facility next to Memorial Stadium at the eastern edge of the Berkeley campus. Unfortunately, in order to build the facility as planned, the University must remove several oak trees that are currently growing on the site.

For reasons that are not entirely clear, local activists have seized on the fate of the “Memorial Oak Grove” as the cause du jour, and a vigorous campaign has been launched to stop the project and save the trees. To that end, protesters have been actually living in the trees since December of 2006, alternating in shifts every few days or weeks. The controversy has received an inordinate amount of media coverage.

OK, so maybe the caption should have been NUDE TREE DWELLERS. But there is more.

Completely unrelated to any of this, a local art photographer named Jack Gescheidt has recently become well-known for a photo series he calls the “TreeSpirit Project,” which involves naked models pictured climbing and hugging trees. But when Gescheidt heard about the Memorial Oak Grove brouhaha, he sensed a perfect media opportunity. He announced that the next installment in his Tree Spirit Project would be a nude photo shoot among the oak trees next to Memorial Stadium. And this time he wouldn’t use only professional models: he issued an open call for anyone and everyone to come get naked for the trees.

And so on Saturday, March 17, 2007, the planets came into alignment and a disparate confluence of people found themselves gathered together in the oak grove: tree-sitters, nudists, activists, journalists, Jack Gescheidt and his assistant, perverts, pornographers, the police and passersby…

OK, how about NUDE POSERS IN BERKELEY TREE?

The whole scene could or should be dedicated to the UC Berkeley nude guy of yesteryear, Andrew Martinez.

For the complete photo shoot, click here.

May 3, 2008 - Posted by | exhibitionism, higher education, hugging, nudity, sexual politics, UC Berkeley, Uncategorized

1 Comment »

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    Comment by kocaeli dedektif | March 26, 2013 | Reply


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