Marisa Papen (26) does it again. The controversial model from Limburg is not a stunt shy. This time she went to Istanbul with photographer Jesse Walker. Dressed in a burqa she posed naked in the former mosque Aya Sofia. “This is not a cry for attention, but a cry for change,” she says.
Marisa Papen posed naked to the wailing wall in Jerusalem earlier this year. In April 2017 she even spent a night in an Egyptian cell after a photo shoot in a temple near Luxor. This time she provokes with photos without clothes in the Turkish capital Istanbul, on the Aya Sofia. That former mosque is now a museum and a well-known tourist attraction. She went there to take pictures for Enki Eyewear, a brand of sunglasses.
“We did not have a real plan, like in Egypt,” says Marisa. “We were not well prepared.” The two bought a burqa in the Grand Bazaar and went to Aya Sofia. “We did the long line to get inside. Once inside, we were amazed by the large number of security cameras.”
Marisa and her photographer found a place on the first floor to take pictures. “We stayed there for a quarter of an hour, but people were constantly passing by. When a guided group passed from which everyone listened to the guide, it was game time.” Marisa pulled up her burqa, and Jesse took pictures for five seconds. Then they went off and could leave the museum without problems.
Unfortunately, the photos were not good enough, and they had to go back a second time. But that too went without problems. The police have visited their hotel one day after their departure from Istanbul. The hotel staff have been questioned.
According to the model, the controversial photos are not a cry for attention, but a cry for change. “As soon as we come to earth, we are pushed onto a path”, the Limburg writes on her blog. “A path that we might not even want to follow. Depending on where we are born, everything is decided for us before we get the chance to think for ourselves.”
With the photos, she wants to encourage everyone to think for themselves. “We are trying to help people to break away from their mental imprisonment by governments and religions.”
“Many people think we are probably crazy because we do this”, continues Marisa. “But there should be nothing wrong with showing the world what God created.”
After their visit to Istanbul the two went even further through Turkey, but that did not always go smoothly. “At one of the locations we tried to take photos for three days, but we were followed all the time by the security services,” says Marisa. “Everywhere we saw armed men. We left there without taking pictures.”
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