Despite the 46-degree Fahrenheit weather, 6,132 Colombians turned out to Plaza de Bolívar in Bogota to take part in Spencer Tunick’s latest large-scale nude shoot. On Sunday, participants started arriving at 2:30 a.m. – three hours before the first photograph would be taken – for what became Tunick’s biggest installation in six years, according to the Daily Mail.
The first photos took place at the Simón Bolívar statue, with Tunick instructing the crowd from the Palacio de Justicia. “Don’t smile,” he said, according to Semana. “Stay quiet. You need to be naked. The people who can’t see without glasses can keep them on, but when I take the photo, you should hide your glasses. Because of nature, we’re all the same. The people who are here are Colombia’s bravest.”
Because of the sheer number of people and the distance between them and the camera, his images hardly look like just naked bodies. Sometimes, they’re posed to look like the pattern of a floor or even an eye. No matter what his vision is, he ends up with striking photos that are hard not to study in detail.
In Bogota, he wanted to see people from all walks of life at his photo shoot, so that he could show “the body as a beautiful organic entity that transforms the space, the governmental space of the square,” according to Colombia Reports. Tunick’s visit also came as Colombia’ peace talks with Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) continue. “It’s an honor to be here at this moment when life is changing and hopefully a peace agreement will be signed,” he said.
When it was founded in the 1960s, FARC promised to represent the rural poor in its fight against the wealthy elite who ran the Colombian state, championing ideals of social equality and land reform. A deal could put an end to the nation’s more than 50-year conflict with the leftist rebel group, during which 220,000 people have died and more than 6 million have been displaced. Some remain skeptical about whether or not the negotiations will achieve peace, especially as they continue to miss deadlines.
While Tunick had FARC on his mind, others used the photo shoot to promote body positivity through the #MeQuitoLaRopaPor hashtag. Check out a collection of tweets below: