Marisa Papen (1992) is a Belgian poet, artist, activist & naturalist. She became internationally known for her evocative work involving religion, body freedom & censorship. 

Her art and activism unveil the raw simplicity hidden beneath cultural complexity. She understands our soft spot for beauty as a catalyst for a harmonious relationship with nature. It is Marisa’s quest to naturalize the human body in a world that has lost its connection with its origin. Offering her body as a symbol of freedom, she has collaborated with world renowned photographers and artists to visualize her message.

For her Religious Rebel campaign she courageously undressed in front of sacred sites such as the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Turkey, the Giza Pyramids + Temple of Luxor in Egypt, the Vatican in Rome, and the Western Wall in Jerusalem. In 2021 she travelled into the epicenter of guilt and shame, the vagina. Embracing her body as a whole Marisa shared her Flower of Life as the largest portrait of a vagina ever exhibited and published the book Flowers of Life. In 2022 she completed a series of 13 moon paintings with her menstrual blood — Flow of Life. Through surrendering to the wisdom of her womb, she is all the more convinced that understanding and integrating our bodies as sovereign intelligence is fundamental.

With a shared mission to heal wounds of separation, Marisa and her husband Michael founded the creative non-profit Earth Family. The foundation offers art, activism and poetry as service. Through story and myth Earth Family evokes deep interconnectedness with ourselves, each other and Mother Earth. Marisa is also the author of the children’s book Earth Family, an illustrated poem of interbeing + transformation.

“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.”

“For me being naked means merging with nature. In this purest state, I experience freedom and peace which not only brings profound happiness but connects me to the essence of my being and my environment. If you have never tasted the blissful feeling of being naked in nature, a beautiful place to begin is swimming.”

“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 of me that day.”

“If my work hurts you, I am sorry. But also, please ask yourself... Why does this image hurt you? Why does it trigger you? Why does a human body in its natural form conflict with your views on right or wrong?”

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