Marisa Papen (1992) is a Belgian poet, artist, activist & naturalist. She became internationally known for her evocative work involving religion, body freedom & censorship. She calls her skin her superhero suit and sees our soft spot for beauty as a tool to unveil the raw simplicity hidden beneath cultural complexity.
Though her artivism Marisa has been pushing boundaries, as much as societyʼs as her own. She challenges beliefs and raises questions by immersing her body in the most controversial environments or natural wonders upon earth. For her campaign ‘God is a Woman, it’s Mother Earth’ she courageously undressed in front of sacred temples like the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Turkey, the pyramids and temple of Luxor in Egypt, the Vatican in Rome, the Western Wall in Jerusalem and others.
With her art and activism Marisa opens a dialogue towards greater equality and freedom. She aims to naturalize the human body in a world that has lost its connection with its natural origin. She has collaborated with world renowned photographers and artists to realize her vision, offering her body as a symbol for that connection.
Together with her husband Michael Chichi, Marisa founded the creative non-profit Double Being. Double Being are rebels with a heart, questioners of social taboos + creators of freedom & form. Marisa is the author of the poetic children’s book ‘Earth Family’, produced and published by Double Being.
"I was 22 when I first undressed in front of a camera. I remember this incredible wave of freedom and expressiveness filling up my entire being. It was a meditative state I had no context for at the time. I witnessed my body move in ways it had never moved before.
I experienced my mind peaceful and present. I felt my heart opening. Something awoke inside that day. Today, 8 years later, I still bring myself back to that moment, to center into my calling.
My work is often seen as controversial. What I see, is a human body taking a stand for equality and freedom. My intention is to open a space for raw conversation where we zoom out on strongly held beliefs and zoom in on the nature of our being.
I’m genuinely not trying to hurt anyone with the stands I take.
If my work does hurt you, I am sorry.
But ask yourself...
Why does this hurt you?
Why does this trigger you?
Why does a human body in its natural form conflict with your views on right or wrong?"