Santa Fe, New Mexico
March 8, 2003
Photo: Jennifer Esperanza
On March 8, International Women's Day, Baring Witness Santa Fe staged a pro-peace demonstration on Upper Canyon Road. 150 women, children, and babies convened early Saturday morning, and laying down on a barren field, formed the symbol of peace with their unclad bodies. Over 90% of the participants are professional women, including doctors, lawyers, teachers, artists, and therapists, indicating that this is a mainstream movement. The age range was from 3 months to 70 years of age.
Despite the chill in the air at 8:00 AM, the assembled women were in a cheerful mood. After a moment of silence to focus on the intent of the gathering, everyone laid down on the ground to form the giant peace symbol with their clothes on. Once the photographer, Jennifer Esperanza, gave the OK, there was a mad dash to remove clothing and footwear. Then about a dozen assistants raced around gathering clothing and took everything out of sight. By then there was a certain giddiness and elation in the air. Feelings of modesty quickly gave way to joyfulness, and the camera shot away for about 15 minutes, with much commentary and laughter from the group. Many reported feeling very empowered and positive after months of feeling despair and hopelessness at what appears to be an inevitable war.
One of the organizers, Carolyn Lee, was inspired to help with the event after seeing other Baring Witness event photographs taken in California, New York, Montana, and Australia. "The image of pale, unprotected bodies strewn on bare earth captures for me the vulnerability and fragility experienced by all in times of war. By not allowing the inspections to succeed as they did in the past, we will see the slaughter of thousands of innocent Iraqis and will no doubt experience further atrocious acts of terrorism directed against the United States."
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