Continuation of the Personal stories for Social Change: #lifeinleggins and #Mamilolivre post:
Mamilo Livre (Free Nipple) is a Brazilian campaign launched in September 2015 by a psychologist and blogger Letícia Bahia and photographer Julia Rodrigues. Their aim was to challenge the objectification of women’s breasts related to sexual meanings and they were claiming the individual’s sovereignty over one’s body.
“Nipple Freedom is, above all, a symbolic dispute over the right to attribute meaning to one’s own body. So we’re the ones saying that our nipples can mean, at a certain moment, maternity. Other times, politics. And other times even sex. But when – and only when – we say so”. (Mamilo livre manifesto)
The campaign encouraged people to print pictures of women and men bare chests from the campaign’s website and post them in public spaces. The initiative had positive response.
Nonetheless, the movement changed its course when Facebook blocked all the portraits featuring women and suspended the profiles of those who published them. To challenge Facebook’s censorship, Julia and Letícia came up with the idea of dividing the picture of the nipple into four different photos and publish them simultaneously, Facebook will display it as a mosaic, where the nipple will be completely visible although it will not be in one single photo, and thus not detected by its system.
Moreover, the campaign seemed to take another angle. “Those photos are part of an experiment of mine inside Facebook. People from all genders posed for me with their bared chests, without sexual or pornographic appeal. Which photos will be considered improper for the public or for the Facebook system? What are the real differences between one portrait and another? What is offensive in one nipple that isn’t in the other?” (Mamilo livre website)
Overall, this is another example of a successful protest campaign where active participation and support were required. I encourage all readers to gather more examples to see how new technologies allow to integrate citizens to activism and since it is a new communication line, it would be very interesting to see activists’ creativity.
I also encourage all readers to advocate for the initiative and to print some pictures and glue them in your city! You can download them from the campaign’s website.
Hodges, Simon. 2014. What’s so special about storytelling for social change? (Online). Available: http://www.open Democracy.net
Wallace, Alice. 2016. The Bahamas: Interview with Founder of #LifeInLeggings (online) Available: http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/2016/12/lifeinleggings/
Mendes Franco, Janine. 2016. Caribbean Women Take Their Power Back by Sharing Stories of Sexual Abuse Via the #LifeinLeggingHashtag (Online). Available:https://globalvoices.org/2016/12/02/caribbean-women-take-their-power-back-by-sharing-stories-of-sexual-abuse-via-the-lifeinleggings-hashtag/
Rodrigues, Julia. Bahia, Leticia . Mamilo livre. https://mamilolivre.com/manifesto
Sganzerla, Taisa. 2016. Brazilian Activists Outsmart Facebook’s Censorship of the Female Nipple. (Online). Available: https://globalvoices.org/2016/11/23/brazilian-activists-outsmart-facebooks-censorship-of-the-female-nipple/