my body, my temple.
This is Aurika. Captured in these photos are parts of her process; her pain, power, beauty and self-love. The journey she went on infront of my camera is hers. But it is also mine. It is every woman’s.
I’ve been trying to put words to these photos for the last hour and a half now, but I struggle. And maybe I don’t need to- I know my expression comes in images, not in letters. I’ll share the only words that wanted to come through me now;
I feel a wind sweeping across the globe,
touching my sisters one after another.
calling us to come back home.
It whispers; it’s time now.
Come back to your temple,
time to take it all back.
T a k e i t b a c k .
For what is yours given by life itself,
cannot be anybody else’s.
This is yours.
Your body, your temple.
The rules will change with this breeze,
no more endurance.
no more fighting against.
The roar from our bellies will shake the world,
with sacred anger we reclaim our homes.
The fire in our roots burns bright and strong,
transforming our pain into light.
Leaving fresh spring air and fertile soil,
where deepened self-love blossoms.
I’m handing over the words to Aurika herself, as she has put down her experience from this three hour long photo journey into words with such precision. The following texts are parts from her blog post, which I highly recommend you read HERE.
“Before we started our photo shoot with Cim, I found myself crying. We had no plan for the photo journey but to celebrate the beauty of the female body, so I certainly did not envision finding this rage blazing in me. When I dropped into my body, I found so many memories of having my body seen as a mere piece of flesh. Having my body divided into pieces used for someone else’s visual stimulation. Having parts of my body groped in crowds. Having men “accidentally” brushing against me in parties. Being catcalled in the streets more times that I could recall. All of these memories of men’s sexual entitlement to my body reminded me how small and helpless I felt in these “seemingly insignificant” situations that, appallingly, are seen as socially acceptable. One by one, each boundary violation seemed to have taken a little piece of my integrity away.
As I sat naked and curled up by the wall, I was speaking all of my feelings out loud. Then I opened my eyes to ask Cim to accompany my process with her camera – it was a statement for me to ALLOW myself to be seen in my raw and uncensored pain UNAPOLOGETICALLY. For myself; for every other woman who ever felt unsafe and made herself small; and for men who thought they were sexually entitled to the female body even in the most subtle way.
Cim cried with me behind the camera. At some point she put the camera aside and looked into the depths of my glassy eyes feeling with me this collective story of the female body. Her shared tears told me that she’s been there too and having this pain mirrored with so much love consoled me. I closed my eyes again and came back to the temple of my body.”
“I continued voicing my truth as I explored my body with my new eyes. I was ready to reclaim it, part by part. I was tapping into novel layers of self-body-love.
By then I already had my all of body covered in silver glitter that made me feel alien-like. It was still my body yet it was free from all of the stories and associations. It was emotionally and energetically clean. My process became a 3-hour long dance where together with Cim we painted on this blank body canvas with colours that amplified the power with which I was reclaiming my body my temple. “
My body, my temple
My body is mine.
It’s not for you to decide what’s my worth based on how I look.
I choose to take back the ownership of my body based on my own beauty standards that mirror the love that I feel for her.
If I decide to expose a piece of my body, it’s my emotional and creative expression and therefore it’s sacred. I don’t need your validation for I already know I’m worthy.
My body is sovereign and your hungry looks can no longer touch it.
I’m stepping up the game and I hand you back your needy eyes, hands and words. Instead, I choose to see a child yearning for connection yet illiterate in the language of asking for it.
I choose the path where I no longer need to fight back and resist against.
Now I can see beyond and come to rest.
In my body my temple.