- Your advocacy has been mainly around raising awareness of sexual assault and trauma. Would you please share the impact your work has had on your followers and the public at large?
I am pleased to say it has brought upon positive change than the negative. I’ve created a platform for young and older women to come forth and acknowledge their trauma and pain, not only that but to allow for them to do shadow work on their inner self, and understanding healing takes time and needs consistency with self, setting boundaries and creating a world in which you can manoeuvre through for yourself.
- As a nudist, you have used your body to take a stand against the same crime that was committed against it (rape). That mustn’t have been an easy decision to make. Why did you feel the importance of doing so, regardless?
The naked female body is a powerful tool that doesn’t not only make one come to the realization of their existence as a female standardized by how the system created its boundaries to your skin colour but also, the society, in particular men of colour only want to see the naked female body when it’s for their pleasure. That has resulted in women demeaning their existence and their freedom of sexual expression.
- You have an organisation called Naledy Projects, which is a safe space for women of all diaspora to share their experiences of sexual assault. How important are safe spaces for survivors and how do we go about creating more of them?
Safe spaces have to allow for all sorts of expressions without fear of being judged or have your experience critiqued. The determining factor for creating more safe spaces has to be who facilitates these safe spaces and how knowledgeable and equipped they are to deal with different persons and their experiences. We do not want to tiptoe around the details of our experiences and create more emotional labour for survivors.
- In your response to a comment on one of your posts, you said, “…they have a fixated ideology of how one should heal from rape. And those ideologies simply won’t apply to everyone because we’re different.” How harmful is this ideology to survivors and society in general?
There is no manual to healing. This applies to any form of pain we may encounter as different people in our lives. However, due to the lack of knowledge on the psychological and emotional health of a rape survivor, you will encounter people projecting toxic fixated narrowed ways to healing from rape without understanding the extent of hurt one had to go through. Listen to women. Listen to women and create safe ways to promote healing.
- The love you receive on your posts is accompanied by hate from those who deem themselves justified in policing your body. How do you deal with such negativity and what change would you like to see in that regard?
The hate projected onto my work encourages me to do more and create better. What people see on my Instagram account is a reflection on themselves. A mirror in which they face their demons. You have the choice to want to learn and understand why my work triggers you or to walk away.
The change I’d like to see is people feeding themselves with the correct education and healing their emotional and psychological self.
- How would you like to see society improve in their approach to dealing with sexual abuse, especially in families?
One would want to blame our family members for typically dealing with sexual abuse the way we’re used to, however, it falls back to lack of education on sex and sexual abuse. How taboos have been used to protect the perpetrator and exploit the victim/survivor. They need to come to the understanding that they normalized nonsensical ideologies of dealing with sexual abuse and quite frankly those ideologies never worked for anyone but created generational curses and disturbances.
- Do you think we are ever going to achieve a safe society? And if so, how do we start journeying towards that?
Include all the bodies in the conversations. Understand we are not fighting people but the system that created them to be the monsters they are, then implement a system that will be free of the injustices and create better people.
– Naledy Selepe| Filmmaker, Voice Over Artist, Blogger, Nudist and Radical Feminist
Curated by Anne Sharlene Murapa | People and Operations, Campeedia.