Nu­dity: A gate­way to peace?

GA Voice - - Columnists -

It’s been a dif­fi­cult few weeks with the con­stant news of ter­ror­ism and the threat of war. You’ve also seen the in­ter­na­tional move­ment to bring peace to those con­flicts cur­rently tak­ing place in Europe. But there is an­other ef­fort you may not know about that’s try­ing to pro­mote peace in a dif­fer­ent part of the world, and one that as a les­bian I can get be­hind 100 per­cent. Ladies, it’s an ef­fort you need to sup­port, too.

The drug wars in Colom­bia are in­fa­mous and have been on­go­ing since the 1960s. Ba­si­cally, the con­flict in­volves the gov­ern­ment in Colom­bia, crime syn­di­cates, para­mil­i­tary groups, and left-wing gueril­las, and has killed over 200,000 peo­ple and dis­placed an­other 5 mil­lion. So the ha­tred is deep-seated.

That’s why a re­cent photo shoot with a for­mer drug car­tel leader and the ex-de­tec­tive that in­ves­ti­gated her gang is catching head­lines, and made me nearly spit out my cof­fee at work when I first laid my eyes on it. This ef­fort to pro­mote peace shows Ana Pacheco and Is­abel Londoño pos­ing to­gether, naked.

In the cover shot, Pacheco, a for­mer se­nior mem­ber of the car­tel Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Armed Forces of Colom­bia, is naked with her arms and legs over for­mer po­lice­woman Londoño, who is kiss­ing Pacheco’s cheek. The photo is rem­i­nis­cent of John Len­non and Yoko Ono’s fa­mous naked pose for the cover of Rolling Stone mag­a­zine.

Once sworn en­e­mies, the pair agreed to pose like this in the Colom­bian mag­a­zine SoHo. Other pho­tos in­cluded in the shoot show the women stand­ing top­less in an em­brace, and press­ing against one an­other wear­ing white, sweaty tank tops. Oh my.

But this wasn’t a re­union that they ex­pected or ini­tially felt com­fort­able with.

“At first I was sur­prised when they asked me to pose with hardly any clothes on with a guer­rilla,” Londoño told The Daily Mail, “But I liked the mes­sage and we in Colom­bia are so used to strong im­ages that we needed to do some­thing shock­ing to reach the peo­ple and show them there is a way to peace.”

“Once sworn en­e­mies, the pair agreed to pose like this in the Colom­bian mag­a­zine SoHo. Other pho­tos in­cluded in the shoot show the women stand­ing top­less in an em­brace, and press­ing against one an­other wear­ing white, sweaty tank tops. Oh my.”

Pacheco told lo­cal me­dia that al­though her ini­tial re­ac­tion was one of hes­i­ta­tion, she de­cided to ac­cept the in­vi­ta­tion. “It’s been very im­por­tant for my life, the im­age is about be­ing at peace, and what’s more beau­ti­ful than two women from the op­po­site sides do­ing it. It’s time to ask for for­give­ness from those I hurt dur­ing my time as a guer­rilla.”

As much as I enjoy th­ese pho­tos, I hate to re­port that the two are not lovers in real life. In her in­ter­view, Pacheco says her hus­band has been really sup­port­ive about her ca­reer choice to con­tinue mod­el­ing. Oh well.

Still, in this time of sad­ness SoHo’s ef­fort is a nice respite from the con­trary im­ages of de­spair and dis­gust I’ve been see­ing for far too long. My les­bian sis­ters and I will ap­pre­ci­ate this dis­play of to­geth­er­ness, but what has the re­cep­tion been in South Amer­ica to th­ese at­trac­tive women tan­gled up with lit­tle or no clothes on?

One reader of the mag­a­zine com­mented, “This is the peace we want in Colom­bia.”

I add with arms open, “En Es­ta­dos Unidos tam­bien.” (In The United States also.)

Melissa Carter is one of the Morn­ing Show hosts on B98.5. In ad­di­tion, she is a writer for the Huff­in­g­ton Post. She is rec­og­nized as one of the first out ra­dio per­son­al­i­ties in At­lanta and one ofthe few in the coun­try. Fol­low her on Twit­ter@Melis­saCarter

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