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The greatest Czech nude-photo of the year

Vložil JirkaRybka, 17. Srpen 2007 - 22:20

On Sunday, August 5th of 2007, an old fort of Křelov near Olomouc city hosted the greatest nude photo of the Czech Republic. The aim of the event was to take a nude-art photograph of the biggest possible number of models, setting a new Czech record, and give the resulting picture to an auction for charity funding. The artist, a well known Czech nude-art photographer Jan Saudek, finally took the picture with 218 volunteer-models, most of them being naturists and like-minded people from both the Czech Republic and abroad. The following text is a translation of my own report in Czech, describing the event from a nude-model's perspective.

Although the project FortAkt 07 raised a bit disapproving discussion previously, a lot of people understood it exactly as the „celebration of nude-art and human body“ it claimed to be, an interesting experience related to the good old idea of „free body culture“ (FKK), and perhaps also a good excuse to visit Morava, a nice region at the east of the country.

That's also true for myself, traveling by car together with a small group of Prague's naturists, gathered hurriedly via the website Naturista.cz. Leaving Prague on awfully early time and driving successfully the full length of our D1 motorway, finally we arrived to Křelov, spotting the marks of a well-organized event at once: Yellow arrows everywhere, two girls holding a large sign at crossroads, an organizer with list of names checking on the long driveway to the fort. Several young men directed the cars on grass by the gate, which was turned into a parking lot, and both ambulance and police cars stood aside, ready to offer assistance.

At the gateAt the gate Like everyone, we joined the queues at reception-desks set up beside the gate, to show our ID's, sign two copies of a contract, and get colour-coded coupons for the later-offered snack. The bussines at the desks wasn't going much smoothly, as the organizers had to deal with unsorted pre-printed contracts, fill in new ones where missing, call people in several separate queues, say sorry to a gentleman unable to present any ID or passport, and listen to a lady complaining pointlessly against the contract's legal properties. But still, given the amount of incoming people, I consider their job being well-done.

Inside the fort, which is an interesting object by itself, and surely an unique background for an event like this, a nice and relaxed feeling spread all over. Friendly organizers were quite helpful, so everyone easily reached the well-labelled dressing (or rather un-dressing) rooms on the top floor, and left all their clothing on the numerous hangers, valuables storing in plumbed boxes at the organizers' desk. Everything was well-prepared, and going smoothly.

The fort's courtyard includes – apart from walls, gates, and ramparts – a good patch of grass, which turned into a temporary clothes-free beach immediately: The nudists got to the usual sunbathing on their towels, or gathered around several tables offering beer, coke, and goulash for coupons. Both inside and outside the building, a mixture of clothed and naked people moved in all directions in a wonderfully casual way, the number of nudes raising rapidly. They walked through the courtyard and grassy ramparts, discovered the whole interesting place, discussed, sunbathed, or just sat at the snack-tables, all enjoying the beautifull sunny day. No one hurried, there was plenty of time left.

InsideInside Obviously, everyone looked forward to see mr. Saudek, guessing where exactly the shot might take place. The artist arrived at 10am, together with a partner and a child, and wearing a snow-white dress. He set out to see the place too, giving a friendly impression to everyone, even allowing one of the volunteer-models to take a picture of himself, despite the prohibition against all cameras inside the place. Finally, as announced via megaphone, he decided to postpone the shot one hour later, due to too sharp morning sunlight. The whole fort was already fully immersed in the feeling of naturist freedom, enjoying one of these rare moments, when no-one even notice the difference between naked and clothed, and shame lies forgotten out behind the gates.

The sight of paparazzi with their huge cameras huddled to a police-blocked gate was pretty amusing, confronted with the tiny patch of courtyard visible for them, with nudists relaxing, walking, drinking their beer, and obviously being much more happy. Meanwhile, mr. Saudek started to give autographs, surrounded by a mass of his nude fans. Lacking any other medium, mr. Saudek gave on-skin autographs to quite a few female chests.

Mr. Saudek arrivedMr. Saudek arrived „So, whoever is interested in the casting, please go…“ The megaphone caused people to smile – obviously, everyone got to the backside of the courtyard at once, it was the whole point of all of us being there. The announcement just gave another bit of good mood to all of us. It started to be obvious, that there was much less people than expected, but still the courtyard was pretty full of naked people of all kinds.

Shortly before the artist's arrival, one of the nude models climbed up to the grassy ramparts, and performed a handstand on the top of a chimney. Applause coming from the nude crowd. Shortly after, still being on the top of ramparts, the performer meets mr. Saudek, who appreciates the show, and shows a handstand himself. More applause, amused voices. And Saudek takes off his white clothes! The applause won't stop. The watch – people are shouting: We were not allowed to wear a watch. Saudek is laughing, and throws his watch away with a grace, performing another handstand afterwards. Saudek tries with the megaphone, then returns it to the organizer beside him, and address the crowd directly, shouting both directions and jokes, keeping the fun up. The journalists, being allowed to a roped-off place in the trees aside, are hurriedly getting what they could out of their cameras, a few of them standing also behind mr. Saudek. A small plane begins to circle low above the fort, causing people to look up, as if they were able to catch a glimpse of a camera sticking out… The Saudek's partner unfolds a black sun-screening umbrella, and the actual job starts. Both of them are holding cameras, she takes a lot of shots, while Saudek himself uses his camera sparingly, shouting his comments, saying what to do, dropping his camera to the grass and showing himself: Hands up. Once more. One – two – three – JUMP! Again… Once more…

Jan Saudek in front of usJan Saudek in front of us And suddenly it's all finished – it took a surprisingly short time. Some people expected mr. Saudek to be a serious artist, arranging different compositions and such – but they were mistaken a lot. The whole thing was more like a quick show, during which no-one ever stopped laughing. Another applause is echoing all around the fort, the naked artist performs yet another handstand, then comes down to the front of the crowd, allowing the rampart-top position for the journalists eager to get a good image for tomorrow's frontpage. Saudek is vanishing in the crowd – it was only later in a newspaper, that I saw people literally carrying Saudek around on their hands.

The megaphone said a good-bye, but still there's no need to hurry into the dressing rooms. The journalists are allowed in now, but many of the nudes are just laughing, returning to the on-grass towels or snack-tables, where they talk over the topic of the day: There should have been more coupons for beer!

Unfortunately, we didn't stay much longer – despite the wonderfull atmosphere of the event, we wanted to visit also another interesting places, while being in this nice but distant region. So we proceeded to unplumb our valuables, put our clothes back on (what a pity – the wonderful feeling suffered a lot), and drive our car to the nearby Olomouc city.

Fountain: (The statues may be well nude)Fountain: (The statues may be well nude) In the belfryIn the belfry FountainsFountains The rest of that beautiful day we spent visiting interesting places: Olomouc is a beautiful city full of fountains, nice squares, streets and alleys, and notable ancient buildings, some of which we visited. We climbed up to the belfry and down to a cellar at the st. Michal's church, took a look at the exhibition inside st. Václav's cathedral crypt, relaxed in the gardens of the old ‚Konvikt‘ school, and enjoyed a delicious meal in the Haná's restaurant.


Nude beach KřetínkaNude beach Křetínka On our way home, we also spent a while at the friendly nude-beach of Křetínka's Naturists' Club (KNK) (fortunately, the local club-members didn't mind, although we didn't exactly match their strict entrance-rules allowing men only in mixed-gender couples).


See also (mostly in Czech): Links to reports and TV-spots about this event, Photo-gallery at iDnes.cz, Official site of the event, The location (fort XVII), Discussion, another article (Czech)
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