Hong Kong, China

Ashdown Forest, UK

Byron Bay, Australia

Drakes Beach, CA

San Diego, CA

Trinidad, CA

Cape Town, South Africa

A Coruña, Spain

Queenstown, NZ

love. peace. partnership.

Baring Witness is a global partnership of men and women who create words of peace with their bodies. Our mission is to promote non-violent, community-based action by educating the public through media, web, print, and film venues. Our goal? To create a peace-based culture of partnership between men and women, without blame. See the slideshow of Baring Witness actions here http://bit.ly/1rEPrMP

The Origins of Baring Witness

Donna Sheehan: After a long lifetime of watching my country go to war, what could I do now to stop another one? Upon waking one Sunday, I recalled a dream of people creating shapes with their bodies. I thought of Helen Odeworitse and 600 Nigerian women who forced ChevronTexaco to listen to their needs. Occupying the oil terminal and threatening to shame male employees by stripping, their threatened nakedness made Chevron concede and provide basic services to the local people. Now I saw women’s bodies forming letters—and the word they spelled was PEACE. From that inspired moment, the vision grew into a very real possibility, with help from like-minded friends, an accessible location, and a talented photographer. The big question? Could women withstand the vulnerability of exposing themselves? My friends and I each called five women, and told them to call five more. By Tuesday, over 50 women turned up at the community baseball field. Baring Witness: a beautiful and courageous act that began like a budding flower, bloomed around the globe, and is seeded again and again. See all the Baring Witness actions in this slideshow.

The Vision

It’s no accident that Baring Witness began with women. From Nigeria to Nepal to the United States, women are impatient with the endless cycle of violence and war between people, nations, and the earth itself. It’s also no accident that women get naked for the sake of peace, using the greatest weapon women have—the power of the feminine, the power of our beauty and nakedness—to awaken male leaders. Exposing the flesh all humans share, we cast off the old paradigm of aggression and restore the power of the feminine to its rightful role as protector of life. Of course, the feminine principle is not exclusive to women; it’s delightful to see so many men joining in the Baring Witness movement.

Important as this is, Baring Witness is not just a means to protest against war. It gives women permission to initiate change, encouraging them to step into equal partnership with men and take equal responsibility for what happens in our lives, and in our world. It’s a vision of a partnership society, a force for change in the world.

See all the Baring Witness actions in this slideshow.

The New Peace Movement

PEACE. It’s such a simple word. On November 12th 2002, 45 women in Northern California dared, and bared, all in protest against impending war. Lying down naked on a field in the rain, they formed that simple word—peace—with their bodies, spelling out their convictions for all to see.

The photograph aroused passion and inspired both women and men nationwide to take action, speak their minds, and express their frustrations at not being heard. Such is the persuasive power of vulnerability, the vulnerability of the naked female body. That power is seduction, and it may be the deciding factor in creating support for peace. If men in power are publicly confronted by large numbers of naked women protesting the distinctly male phenomenon of war, it could begin a shift of consciousness, a re-examination of motives and behavior that just could tip the scales of public opinion toward a rational foreign policy. That is the goal of this new peace movement; to gather large numbers of women so that they can express how exhausted and frustrated they are by the state of the world in men¹s hands.

It is time for collaboration, for a more balanced implementation of male and female energies. It is time for the influence of women to be felt more strongly. It is woman’s role to give life, to nurture and guide their men and children. When men are at war, either between themselves or with Nature, they are unhealthy, unhappy, and in danger. Now is the time for women to step in and shock men, stop them in their tracks, turn them into embarrassed schoolboys, remind them of how they all came into this world, and make them listen to words of consolation, healing, and peace.

See all the Baring Witness actions in this slideshow.