Nudity in the Upspace: An interview with the new coordinators

It’s that time of year again–Nudity in the Upspace time. Coming off a wildly successful 2013 iteration, despite its fair share of controversy and Fox News coverage (are they synonymous?) that included an always welcome visit from Jesse Watters, new Nudity in the Upspace coordinators Cherise Morris ’16 and Sam Keamy-Minor ’16 sat down with Blog to talk changes to the week, staying true to its roots, and expanding Nudity’s presence and types of participants on campus.

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BlogDH: What does Nudity in the Upspace mean to you?

Sam: For me, personally–and I think any one of these answers is going to be incredibly personal–Nudity in the Upspace is a space where people can be radically honest about a lot of the issues that we as Brown students discuss in sometimes frustratingly veiled terms. Things like body positivity, body acceptance, body disability, race, gender expression. These are all conversations that we’re used to as Brown students and I think Nudity in the Upspace provides this new forum to explore them in a much more honest way.

Additionally, being involved in events of public nudity (Naked Donut Run, Nudity in the Upspace) has really helped me come to terms with a lot of the aspects of my identity both connected to the way I look but also connected to other things. My queer identity, my male identity and how I perform my gender.

Cherise: Looking back at myself as an involved member last year, I do think it took me some time to get my feet wet. I was able to take my time. And I think that’s one of the really important missions of the week. We’re not just saying, “Oh, nudity should be normalized and you should be comfortable!” Because that’s a really hard thing to do. The week gives people all these opportunities to take their time and feel out what the experience is going to mean to them. Creating that system of dialogue is something that we often aren’t able to do as students, especially in a classroom setting when we are discussing these issues. We know what we are supposed to get out of it and what we should put into it. Even as coordinators we kind of don’t really know how everything is going to pan out. That spontaneity that accompanies the honesty is really important.

BlogDH: What are some differences in Nudity in the Upspace this year?

Cherise: One new thing we’re doing this year is partnering with Bluestockings to release a Nudity: Bodies in Context zine at the devised piece. We went to Bluestockings with this idea because we wanted to engage different audiences. There is this stigma around the event–you have to be naked and you have to be okay with being naked to have these opinions and to discuss these issues. You don’t have to do that. We wanted to engage people who wouldn’t even be comfortable showing up to the event. Expanding that range of voices is something we’re looking for this year, especially in light of all the controversy last year.

Sam: When you have a week where so much of it is exploring identity–whether it’s the identity we wear in our bodies or the identity that we construct external to our bodies–the fact that Cherise and I have very different identities [is important]. I’m the first male-bodied phe coordinating. Me and Cherise are both queer.

Cherise: We do want to respect the goals that Becca and Camilla set out as the event’s founders but inevitably, it’s taking a different form. This year we did different things with the space physically. We have a whole back wall that we are going to be performing in front of that is [covered] by attendee’s drawings. It’s a huge mural with all these different voices and input on it.

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Watters to discuss Nudity in the Upspace on ‘The Factor’ sooner than expected

In a cryptic tweet to BlogDH, Jesse Watters disclosed that he will be filling in for Greg Gutfeld tonight on The O’Reilly Factor.

While we don’t really know who Greg Gutfeld is, we know one thing’s for certain: Watters is bringing up ‘Nudity in the Upspace‘ on the air sooner than he had planned to. However, we’re not entirely sure if the segment is airing tonight— we’re still waiting for word from Watters, since we are best Twitter friends now. This past Wednesday, he informed BlogDH that the segment he filmed on campus would air the following Wednesday.

Is Watters buckling under the weight of a Brunonian backlash? Perhaps. We’ll just have to tune in to Fox News tonight at 8 p.m. to find out. Stay tuned for more updates from BlogDH throughout the day— we’re your number-one source for all that’s going on in Watters’ World.


Nudity in the Upspace: An exclusive interview with the event’s creators

1235035_10151675864377469_1921664586_nNudity in the Upspace—a week-long event that “discusses and explores nudity in all forms” by way of nude body painting, nude yoga, and nude performance—is back for its second year. The event is currently taking place at Production Workshop’s Upspace, and has triggered international press coverage from The Huffington Post, Jezebel, CBS, and Daily Mail UK. Online comments on these articles range from encouraging messages to the students involved with the event to vitriolic attacks on Brown students and the institution itself.

On the heels of this influx of attention, BlogDH sat down with Becca Wolinsky ‘14, Camila Pacheco-Fores ‘14 and Gabrielle Sclafani ’14, the three main organizers of the event, to discuss their take on body image, nude performance, and press coverage. Check out the interview after the jump.

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ICYMI: Nuditygate is over!

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Infamous ambush reporter and SexPowerGod attendee Jesse Watters aired his much-anticipated segment on Nudity in the Upspace last night. And the verdict is in…

Not that bad.

Sure, it was classic Jesse Watters journalism. He snarkily edited footage from irrelevant movies in between student interviews. He made fun of students for using phrases like “gender performativity.” (I don’t know what that means, either.) He made one too many dick jokes: “Was your nude scene really small?” “No, it was significant.” Watters STILL referred to the events as “Nudity Week.”

But at the end of the segment, O’Reilly concluded that Nudity in the Upspace was “harmless.” Watters mentioned BlogDH’s Drinking Game (!!!!!) said Brown students were “very articulate and respectful.”

Plus, he took the time to boost one young girl’s self-esteem and body image. Thanks, Jesse. I slept a lot better last night.

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A Last-Minute Guide to Costumes: Brown Edition

You need a costume that’s low-budget. You need a costume that’s last-minute. And you need a costume that’s Brown-specific. Fear not: you can have your cake candy and eat it too. When it’s an hour before Monster Ball/RISD Ball/that MoChamp pregame and there’s nothing in sight but your half-finished lab report and that sky photo t-shirt, BlogDH has got you covered.

The Main Green

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You will need:

  • Green clothes
  • A frisbee
  • A picnic basket/tapestry/MacBook Air

Dress up in green clothes, stick a frisbee on your head, and carry something Main Green-related around for the night. Note: the Frisbee is essential. Otherwise you may be mistaken for Wriston/Simmons/Pembroke Green, which is not what you’re going for here.

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Last Call: Lauren Behgam

Then + Now

Then + Now

As the semester progresses at the speed of light, the senior class is beginning to make peace with that fateful day in May: Commencement. Until the class of 2015 leaves us, BlogDH wants to highlight all the interesting things they’ve been up to. To this end, we’re (re)starting the series Last Call, which features seniors reflecting on their experiences at Brown. Each featured senior will tag another senior for the next installment. Find this year’s other “Last Call” chain here and our RISD “Last Call” chain here.

People might know you as… That chick with an undercut, a curly top knot, and a circle scarf tryna do contact improv with people in very public places.

In your time at Brown, you are most proud of… helping a program called Food Recovery Network get up and running at Brown and at other college campuses across the country. Basically, students take excess food from their dining halls to nearby community partners. #nofoodwaste

On a Friday night, you might find yourself… Cooking a muy rico dinner with my roomies at ~SpEcIaL fAnCy HaUs~, chugging wine, and doing tarot card readings. If I’m feeling energetic, Twerk Fridays at Ego.

The best class/professor at Brown is… anything with Ralph Rodriguez. I’ve never had a professor so committed to their students who also busts our brains open (in the best way) on the reg.

Three things you wish you knew freshman year…

  1. Sign up for less stuff. Srsly chill.
  2. Take classes you are truly interested in rather than for skills that you think you need.
  3. Be an Ethnic Studies concentrator.

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