~iris ray nunn
April 22, 2021

For nine years local women of the Northern Rivers have turned their grave fears for the environment and the future outlook for their children and grandchildren, into passionate, radical action.

The ritual of gathering in sacred circle on the ground, sharing their fears and frustrations, then courageously allowing their naked skin to become portraits of their concern, has attracted more than eighty women. The women's ages ranging from 19 to 75, signifying the extent of concern about the Earth over the generations.

Themes of water purity, the dangers of coal mining, fracking, aerial spraying, protection of the Great Barrier Reef and koala habitat, and restoration of respecting thebond between Mother and Child, have all been creatively highlighted in these Raw Actions.

"We not only paint the messages on our bodies," says organiser of the Raw Actions, iris ray nunn, "we embody the words when the image is captured. The feeling of courage, peace, beauty, unity, harmony with nature and strength of woman, flows out through our eyes, hands, hearts and skin. When we come together, we are capable of anything.”

Iris was inspired to do this human-art-work for the greater good after participating in an anti-war action in 2003 in the hills behind Byron Bay.

One of her role models as a teen, Australian singer Grace Knight, heralded to women in the area to come together for a non-violent action spelling out the words 'No War' with their naked bodies in protest of Australian armed forces invading Iraq.

Grace Knight hoped for 70 women. 750 women showed-up!

“It was an electrifying experience to be with so many naked women. Something I am very proud to have been a part of,” says Iris. “The greatest victims of war are innocent women, children and the environment. The injustice was maddening. Coming together in that radical way helped enormously to transform that collective pain into passion. We hoped the women in Iraq would see that we; mothers, daughters, sisters in Australia, didn’t support our government’s decision to invade their country.”

The ‘No War’ surrounded by a human-made love heartimage, drew world-wide attention.

Then the horror of seeing an open-cut coal mine in the Leard State Forest, in North West NSW, sacred to the Gamillaraay, prompted iris to create the first Raw Actionat dawn at Cape Byron in 2012. “I came back here to my community and told the women what was happening to the forest. Innocent wild life was being completely annihilated. Together the women and I held up a signthat read, ‘Wake Up Australia’ and we wrote ‘Keep Coal in the Hole’ on our naked bottoms!’”

The image went viral on social media. It was also used for the campaign to protest coal mining in the Galilee Basin in Qld. Another photo ‘I Am Water, Water is Me’was used (with permission) to alert North Americans to genetically modified crops and their ongoing, poisonous effect on the fresh-water ecology years after the crops have been sprayed.

“My Raw Action sisters and I are merging with an ever-increasing voice speaking out loud and clear for the rights of Mother Earth. The Earth has constitutional rights. She has to be loved and respected. No moreabuse, exploitation and disgraceful disrespect. We stand naked in our true beauty. We reject the projections of women being a mere sex symbol. We are life-givers, powerful nurturers and healers, and our nudity is our authentic nature.”

Local photographer Trevor Avedissian from Hillbrookmedia has skilfully captured all the messages and turned the exquisite material into a mini- documentary,called Raw Action, screened recently at Byron All Shorts section of the Mullumbimby Flicker Festival. The film is being shown in other areas of the region (and is followed by a Raw Action of course)!

In April, the film was showed at the Nimbin Bush Theatre in the afternoon, and on sunset women from the audience jumped at the chance to participate in an action for the protection of Koala habitat. ‘No Tree No Me.’

"Being in the ‘raw’ helps us tap into how brave we are beyond fear. It’s ‘edgy’ every time I participate in an action, because I have to go beyond insecurities and self-judgement about my body that might be sitting there. Each time I participate in this ritual, I transform my own suffering so I am able to be of greater benefit to all of life. Humans are hard wired to love, and when we come together and place caring together for the living world as top priority, we are lifted out of our small-minded worries and into a higher vibration."

Mini-documentary created by Iris and Hillbrook Media

WHY RAW ACTION? Our documentary is inspiring people to passionate, radical action to protect and preserve the preciousness of life.

RAW ACTION aims to support the great turning away from avarice and greed, harm and hate towards humanity remembering to love and care together for the living world, our natural habitat.

This powerful, raw and warm documentary was created in the hills, rivers, valley and sea side in the Byron Shire of Northern NSW, Bundjalung Nation.

Link to watch Raw Action

The community of Raw Action women keep growing and evolving…

Join the movement by sending iris an email iris@deeplisteningtonature.com to state your interest in hosting a Raw Action in your community ❤️