By Rachel Woodward, October 4 2016 —
This October, Calgary welcomes an extremely unique monthly artistic event. At Naked Girls Reading, female-identifying people take the stage to indulge audiences in readings of poetry, erotica, monologues and diary entries — naked.
The Naked Girls events began in Chicago in 2009, but took longer to gain traction in Calgary.
“A few performers about three years ago tried to bring it to Calgary and [Naked Girls Reading] actually said no, just because they didn’t think our conservative community was ready for it,” event producer Keely Kamikaze says. “It is anybody who identifies as female. I have five women [and] two of them are burlesque performers, one is an emcee, one is a slam poet, one is just a regular person. They’re from all different walks of life, shapes, sizes, identities, everything.”
The first event on Oct. 5 featured five readers. Kamikaze says that there is already a wait list of readers ready to present at future events.
Kamikaze hopes that by introducing an event of this sort to the city, the stigma around women’s sexuality will be seen in a different light.
“Really these women just want to volunteer to really get out there and support the feminist movement,” she says. “The whole point of this event is to really bring attention that women can be sexy and intelligent at the same time and for some reason our society tends to separates those two.”
The inaugural event featured readings with the theme of “erotica.” Ladies read material from victorian porn, original smut material and sultry slam poetry. The events lack censorship, both in what is shown to audiences and what is read. The readers are given total freedom in what they choose to share, which will help foster a more open and honest experience.
Kamikaze says that Calgary is the perfect home for an event like this because of the growing art community, as well as a blossoming burlesque scene.
“We have a really strong arts community, we have a very strong burlesque community and this
is a kind of marrying of the two,” she says. “This is real, actual literature. People have found these books and books are sexy. Books are very sexy. We’re really just combining the two and I really think there is a need for this kind of event. People are embracing it hardcore.”
Events will be held every month and tickets are $15 at the door. The first reading takes place on Oct. 5 at Red Bush Coffee and Tea company, and future events will be updated on the Facebook page.
For more information, visit nakedgirlsreading.com