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'Conservative ideologies' eroding naturism?
Nudists fighting erasure in parts of Catalonia, Gavdos and France
The “textile invasion” of nude beaches in Catalonia, Spain, appears to be the biggest naturism story of the summer. I’ve seen at least 40 reports on the situation, and the story is still developing.
In a nutshell: Nudists are finding themselves outnumbered by smartphone-wielding textile folks on nude beaches. They say they are “the focus of giggles, prolonged stares and, at times, disparaging remarks,” The Guardian reported. Some nudists aren’t going to the beaches anymore, and “some have chosen to remain clothed,” the newspaper says. The Catalonian nudists are fighting back “with a campaign aimed at protecting the decades-long tradition associated with 50 or so of the region’s beaches.” They have appealed to the Catalan government to address what they see as an erosion of naturism — and they’ve received an incredible amount of media attention in the process. They’ve also launch a video (below) — which is brilliant — that depicts two tourists who stumble across a nudist beach and soon go from gawking to stripping down.
But overall, the first part of the headline over The Guardian report sums up what nudists are feeling in Catalonia and other spots around the world this summer: “A lack of respect: Catalonian nudists campaign against clothed tourists.”
The Greek island of Gavdos
Both sides in another beach dispute between nudists and textiles are crying “a lack of respect” this summer. The 50 to 100 locals who live on the island of Gavdos, just south of Crete, usually find themselves outnumbered by several thousand people in the summer in what has become “renowned as a haven for free camping and nudist activities,” the Greek City Times reports. Until the beginning of this summer, when the local mayor decided to ban nudism and had a “Nudism is prohibited” sign erected on Sarakiniko Beach.
Some of the “holidaymakers,” who call their cause the Gavdos Holidaymakers Initiative on social media, have been protesting and “tore down” the sign, which the mayor has had put back and vows to keep doing if the protesters keep it up. The protesters say they are “standing against those who seek to divide us with conservative ideologies.”
For her part, the mayor, one Lilian Stefanaki, released a statement that included this, paraphrased in a Neo Kosmos report: Nudists prevent the beach from being used by all, especially the locals.
“In winter, 80-100 people live in Gavdos, with less than 50 locals. In the summer, several thousand visitors come to the island, with a large number of them feeling that by coming and returning to the unique paradise that is the island, they gain more rights and opinion on local matters than the ‘reclusive’ locals,” the statement reads.
Other than the mayor, there are no comments in the two reports from any of the fulltime residents.
Meanwhile, Neo Kosmos also points out that there are other beaches on the island that allow nudity.
Pushback in France
Local French governments have been banning the so-called Nude Tour de France, a.k.a. World Naked Bike Ride, this summer — “after several decades of issue-free races,” Yahoo News reports. “Seven stages of the race have been banned in the country for public indecency, with riders facing the risk of prison time and a fine for hopping on their bikes in the buff,” the report says.
François Feunteun, president of Le Mouvement Naturiste, which organizes the ride, was detained by police as the riders prepared to start one stage recently. Feunteun says he will pursue legal action to defend the naked tour.
Meanwhile, France still has nude-friendly beaches, the report adds.