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Poses past, part II – Bare Skin, Not Bearskin

8 November 2012

On 7 June 2009, the Sunday before first my naked contribution to an artistic project, I loaned my body to an altogether more worthwhile cause. PETA has often used the revealed bodies of its supported as an unshamed means of generating publicity. The ‘Bare Skin, Not Bearskin‘ action was intended to draw attention to the needless slaughter of bears to make headpieces for guardsmen.

PETA’s campaign calls on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to stop using bear pelts to make headpieces for the five guards regiments and to have the hats fashioned from luxurious faux fur instead.

With dozens of other volunteers I arrived at a secret location south of the river in central London, stripped off, daubed my whole body with blood-like red paint, and then donned a robe and plastic bear mask ready for action. We crossed to the north of the river via the footbridge in front of Tate Modern where, on some steps between the bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral, we dis-robed in front of a waiting press pack and began our protest cry: “MoD, go fur free”.

Three years on, the bears are still being slaughtered… but not all wars can be won in a single offensive.

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Photos copyright McTumshie (Flickr).

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