Around 200 people from Israel posed naked recently at the famous Dead Sea for an important cause. Clicked by an American photographer named Spencer Tunick, the photoshoot aims to give the spotlight to the receding shoreline and raise awareness about the currently developing alarming situation. The volunteers stripped naked and painted themselves white in order to get clicked for the cause.
For quite some time now, the waterbody's shoreline has been receding excessively. Some of the reasons given are mineral extraction from the sea as well as the alarming evaporation, a direct consequence of the dangerous climate change.
Israeli Government Initiative
The 54-year-old photographer was invited by the country's Tourism Ministry who came up with the project. According to The Guardian, the Israeli government covered the entire initiative's costs, which included flight and ground expenses. Arad City's mayor, Nisan Ben Hamos, told the publication that everyone came together to contribute staff and other kinds of expenses needed for this project.
Hamos also stated that this will not only increase tourism in the area, but will also raise funds for a museum being built about the Dead Sea.
The photoshoot took place on Sunday, October 17. Tunick asked the volunteers to smear themselves with white paint and pose for the photograph on the arid landscapes surrounding the waterbody. "For me, the body represents life and love," he said. Further, he added that he was inspired by a Biblical story about Lot's wife who turned into a pillar of salt.
Known for taking up offbeat topics for his photos, this is not the first time he has done such a shoot. Ten years back, he did the similar project at the Dead Sea where he pulled this off with 1000 nude models.
A student named Anna Kleiman was one of the volunteers in the photoshoot. She told the publication, "It feels really natural, once you take your clothes off. You kind of don't want to put them back on. I think we just struggled with the rocks a little bit. Another volunteer, who is an engineer named Gil Shavit, was extremely thankful that it was cloudy on that very day, which made it easier for everyone to pose for the shutterbugs. Interestingly, he was present for the previous photoshoot as well in 2011 and he was 'grateful' to do this again.
"Event Of Mass Abomination"
While many were intrigued by the idea, many were not sold by it. A conservative lawmaker in the country called it an 'event of mass abomination', along with asking the tourism ministry to withdraw its sponsorship from the same.
However, Israel itself is not out of the weeds as well. With Jordan, the country has been responsible for diverting much of the water from the Dead Sea upstream to use it for agricultural purposes and to provide drinking water.