Warwick Rowers – Making of 2015 Calendar
The Worldwide Roar is a mental health project with a human rights message. Drawing on ten years of learning as the Warwick Rowers calendar project, the Roar campaigns for healthier masculinities, raises funds for charity and supports men to become active partners in creating a more inclusive world that combats structural racism, promotes LGBTQ rights and gender equality, and seeks to empower men to become part of the solution in a world that is trying to recover from hegemonic masculinity.
The Roar is intended to open a global, mindful conversation with everyone affected by male mental health and the impact of hegemonic masculinity.
Why the nudity?
We have always sought to highlight and confront patriarchal privilege and how that manifests within our culture. Consistently over more than a decade, we have seen how the nudity in our project enables men to share new experiences, embrace new perspectives and show their commitment to their goals.
We need alternative perspectives on the human body to those of porn and the commercial objectification of advertising and magazines. We particularly need to see the male body presented in a way that is not an assertion of power but a demonstration of solidarity with the many people who have been disadvantaged by patriarchal, heteronormative male culture.
Over time, we have come to see the male nudity in our project as an opportunity for a male mass participation project with positive, constructive social significance. It remains transgressive to show male genitalia, particularly outside contexts where the visibility of the penis is used to assert male dominance. We need to demystify and democratise masculinity – who gets to define it and who gets to own it.