Photographer and model arrested over nude photoshoot at ancient Egyptian temple

Sep 14, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Photographer and model arrested over nude photoshoot at ancient Egyptian temple

Sep 14, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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From time to time, photography could get you in trouble. For Photographer Jesse Walker and model Marisa Papen, the trouble came while they were shooting nudes in an ancient temple in Luxor, Egypt. They tried hiding from the guards to take the shots, but they got busted. As a result, they faced extremely unpleasant situations and spent a night in a jail cell.

The Australian photographer shot the photos for Enki Eyewear back in April this year. But a couple of days ago, the backstory was published on the Belgian model’s blog. As it turns out, this wasn’t the first time they got busted. It also happened in other locations around Egypt, but they were able to talk their way out of the situation or bribe the guards.

In the Luxor temple, the guards caught them and called the police. According to Papen, Walker deleted the photos from the memory card, and they said they’d just tested the light and hadn’t taken any photos. This didn’t convince the officers, so they strip searched the photographer looking for another card. Papen believes they thought they were shooting porn and “they couldn’t see the link between nudity and art.” After this, as Papen writes, they were “sent from one police station to the other, to court back to jail, back to court.”

They spent the night in a police station that doubled as a jail cell. When they appeared in the court, they played “the role of stupid tourists” who didn’t know dancing nude on Egyptian ground was forbidden. Eventually, they only got a warning from the judge never to do it again. As soon as they got to the hotel room, Walker retrieved the deleted images and they are now published.

Nudity is beautiful and I have nothing against it, but it doesn’t mean you can strip your clothes anywhere. Whenever you travel abroad, I assume you respect the culture of the country you’re visiting. It takes only a little research to find out what’s allowed and what isn’t, and it doesn’t look like the photographer and the model did this research. Or they just didn’t care about the customs and laws, which is a more likely scenario. In my opinion, Walker and Papen acted disrespectfully to the Egyptian culture and probably even their laws. They broke the rules multiple times, so they should be happy they got off with just with a night in a cell and a warning.

I believe this case brings out some questions about respecting other’s culture, rules, and laws as photographers. Art is supposed to push the boundaries, that’s true. But in my opinion, this isn’t the way to do it. Other than obeying the law, I think we should respect other people and their culture when we travel and take photos. I follow the logic “When in Rome…” and try to comply with the rules of the country I visit, both from the respect, but also for my own safety.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this matter. Were they “pushing the boundaries,” or it’s just plain disrespect? What would you do?

[via 9News; cover image credits: Jesse Walker]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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42 responses to “Photographer and model arrested over nude photoshoot at ancient Egyptian temple”

  1. Paul Richards Avatar
    Paul Richards

    Disrespectful

  2. Duncan Knifton Avatar
    Duncan Knifton

    doing this without permission is disrespectful….

    1. John Ward Avatar
      John Ward

      Depending on your view of the human body and what is acceptable to display? To some who are very comfortable in their skin it is very natural :)

    2. Duncan Knifton Avatar
      Duncan Knifton

      thats not the question though…..its “where” its being done..

    3. John Ward Avatar
      John Ward

      The ancient Egyptians didn’t always wear clothes? ? advocate

    4. Daniel Shortt Avatar
      Daniel Shortt

      The temples they are doing it in have nude people carved on the walls…
      “doing this without permission is disrespectful” Dude it’s the only way it would have ever happened, like they would get the OK to do it? Didn’t think that statement through me thinks.

    5. Tamara-Rebeka Lukic Avatar
      Tamara-Rebeka Lukic

      Oh wait, when did we go back in time and found ourselves in ancient Egypt? That’s a poor excuse for an argument about this NOT being disrespectful. If the temple where you want to shoot is sacred or in some way protected and you really really really want to shoot there, then ask, if they say no, then don’t go behind their backs and just have a merry little photo shoot NAKED on your own, it’s just plain rude and disrespectful towards other people and what they find sacred.

    6. Duncan Knifton Avatar
      Duncan Knifton

      its a perfectly sound statement…doing this without permission, knowing full well they would not get it, makes it even worse.
      No matter what carvings they have on the wall…they knew they were doing wrong…simples

    7. Daniel Shortt Avatar
      Daniel Shortt

      Duncan Knifton it’s only wrong in some people’s opinion. Others it’s perfectly fine. In ancient Egypt it was perfectly fine. To use the argument it’s disrespectful to the temple isn’t true, it’s not in agreement with the culture that happens to live there now. But those temples under strict Islam should be destroyed as they speak of god’s that are not “the true god” but they leave them alone because they are a massive tourist honey pot, and that helps support the economy. So if they really had stupid religious values at heart they wouldn’t let people near them… The are feigning offense with no valid excuse.

  3. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    yeh .. disrespectful.

  4. Petar Maksimovic Avatar
    Petar Maksimovic

    What is this a GetDataBack ad?

    1. Šefik Miladin Avatar
      Šefik Miladin

      Popišaj se sam sebi u rulu majmune odvratni. Saznao sam ko si govedo jedno čobansko.

  5. Marcel Hotze Avatar
    Marcel Hotze

    i was arrest once because i took a video in the kings graves :D
    for 30 minutes :D

  6. The JennCast Avatar
    The JennCast

    It’s funny that people go out if their way to be respectful to other culture’s, but not our own.

    1. Alexander Hass Avatar
      Alexander Hass

      Most of our countries allow nudity. So… Maybe we are respecting our culture.

  7. Daryl Quincy Avatar
    Daryl Quincy

    You wrote an article about it. Everyone who read it probably googled the model and the photographer. I’d say they got exactly what they were looking for after their night in jail…

  8. Mario Dennis Avatar
    Mario Dennis

    When you’re a guest in someone else’s country, you follow their laws and customs. If you don’t intend to do that, stay home.

  9. Kim Jackson Avatar
    Kim Jackson

    Disrespectful

  10. Don Barnard Avatar
    Don Barnard

    If ever there was a culture that needs to learn some tolerance and respect for human rights, it’s any culture based on Sharia Laws.
    Who’s being disrespectful?
    No tolerance makes this a human rights case.

    1. Douglas Smith Avatar
      Douglas Smith

      Have you even ever been to Egypt? Or just basing your opinion off other’s opinions?

    2. Mario Dennis Avatar
      Mario Dennis

      That’s a completely different discussion.

    3. Don Barnard Avatar
      Don Barnard

      Douglas Smith Egypt… first democratic election in their history, they vote in a terrorist network and the first thin the Muslim brotherhood did was suspend democracy and impose sharia law.
      Now why in world would I EVER want to spend my money to travel to a country that would behead me the first time I open my mouth?
      No thank you.
      I’m going to Israel where I can film in relatively safe areas in a country that won’t jail me for ridiculous things.

  11. Adam Santino Avatar
    Adam Santino

    It was probably intentionally disrespectful. Nude photography is used for two reasons- either to celebrate the beauty of the human body or to give the finger to others.

  12. David Crespo Avatar
    David Crespo

    Disrespectful..

  13. Nick Dunlap Avatar
    Nick Dunlap

    Not disrespectful at all

  14. Daniel Shortt Avatar
    Daniel Shortt

    Thought they were alone, it’s not like the went out there to make a spectacle in front of a crowd.

    Plus
    The temples they are doing it in have nude people carved on the walls…

    1. Daniel Shortt Avatar
      Daniel Shortt

      At the end of the day it’s people feigning offense based on quasi religious grounds that have no basis in logic, why be sorry for someone else’s small minded idiocy.

  15. Jefferson L. Morriss Avatar
    Jefferson L. Morriss

    Disrespectful. Tasteless.

  16. catlett Avatar
    catlett

    Hiding from the guards and deleting the photos from the card pretty much tells the story here doesn’t it? They knew.

  17. Jimmy Harris Avatar
    Jimmy Harris

    Why not just photograph the background, and then photograph the model in a studio and combine the two in post? Why disrespect a culture and endanger yourself and your model? Any halfway decent photographer shouldn’t have a problem editing that shot to look natural in Photoshop, and it’s a lot less hassle than going through the Egyptian legal system. I think this “photographer” wanted to get caught just for the attention, which apparently the sensationalist media was all too happy to give him. It’s sad when adults can’t distinguish the difference between good attention and bad attention.

  18. Donatas Žvirblis Avatar
    Donatas Žvirblis

    We were all born naked ;)

  19. Steeve Dupuis Avatar
    Steeve Dupuis

    This is typical of the Anglo-Saxon countries. A naked woman and this is the scandal! But you are not disturbed by movies where 200 people are killed ! Wake up ! These are artistic photos!

  20. Paul Willy Brown Avatar
    Paul Willy Brown

    Seems they looked around and realized all the possible photos of such places have already been made.
    So add something no one else has done. Then the internet will declare us creative, influencers and artists.

  21. Feroz Khan Avatar
    Feroz Khan

    Utter twats

  22. Robert Clarke Avatar
    Robert Clarke

    Artistic is fine , BUT ,it is not an excuse to be disrespectful … We all have our rules / laws .. Just disrespect as far as I can see …

  23. Peggy Grossini Avatar
    Peggy Grossini

    By all means disrespectful

  24. Alan Strong Avatar
    Alan Strong

    If going to it you need spotter keep eye out and work out time with less people about a something cover model if someone comes around simple

  25. Terry Rowe Avatar
    Terry Rowe

    Totally disrespectful and could lead to the banning of all photography in ancient sites.

  26. Jore Puusa Avatar
    Jore Puusa

    So..when muslims come to western world – they have some habits that racists won`t tolerate. But then westerns think that when we go to muslim country – we can do whatever we like.
    That is racism at its worst..I mean thinking, that we are somehow better and can insult others when and where we want.
    And this is how terrorism starts. Insults after insults and then someone breaks down and fires a bomb.*
    Terrorism is made in USA, bombing women and children to pieces in the developing countries starts hundreds new terrorists.
    Most hypocrit religious americans have never seen their fathers and mothers or husband or wife naked. So there is nothing to boast about nudity.

  27. lewisfrancis Avatar
    lewisfrancis

    A few aphorisms come to mind:
    – Better to ask for forgiveness than permission
    – Success belongs to the bold
    – No pain, no gain

    Disrespectful? If they were trying this in a church then I’d fully agree.

    1. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
      Arthur_P_Dent

      Just because it’s not *your* house of worship, it’s OK? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  28. Alan Avatar
    Alan

    Pretty low thing to do. Also means innocent youngsters having fun are far less likely to get off with a warning. Also wondering why this site included the link?