Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Belgian Model Spat At, Chased After Walking Naked Through Hasidic Williamsburg

(JTA) — A Belgian model was spit at and chased for walking completely naked through the largely Hasidic Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg.

Marisa Papen and her crew undertook the photo shoot on March 21, at the end of the Purim holiday, but posted a video of the chase on her website just last week.

She walked naked throughout the neighborhood, including posing in front of a yeshiva school bus and in front of a synagogue.

Papen wrote on her website that she walked naked on several streets in Williamsburg but didn’t get the shots that they were looking for. She said that some of the men got aggressive and others looked at her as if she had risen from the dead, others -as seen in the photos posted on her website, just looked away.

Then it started raining and she danced naked in the rain. After, as she and her photographer and producer sat in an Uber, the car was surrounded by Hasidic men, one of whom spit into the window. One of the men had called the police.

The model jumped out of the car in a coat and made a run for it, followed by about ten of the men yelling “Go” and “Get out.” She eventually ran into the police. She convinced the police officer that she had not been naked and that the men had been aggressive to her and was let go.

A webpage about her project says that “Marisa’s goal is to raise awareness about the global suppression of women by the hand of religion. Battling this issue as a young activist and progressive art producer has been an intense but utterly impactful and rewarding journey.”

She has previously posed nude on a balcony overlooking the women’s section of the Western Wall, at Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia mosque, and near St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

She is an advocate for allowing women to go topless in public as men do.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.