32nd WORLD NATURIST CONGRESS INF-FNI
During the WORLD NATURIST CONGRESS INF FNI we will discuss the motions or fourth by many of the 30 federations that will be attending. To improve the event we decided to set up ROUNDTABLES next to the Congress Hall so we can discuss certain subjects from the Italian naturist perspective. The roundtables will be conducted by exponents of Italian naturism. Below you will find guidelines for the discussions that will be held.
NATURISM AND VEGETARIANISM Roundtable conducted by Alessandro Perucci
The purpose of this gathering is to outline vegetarianism within naturist philosophy, exploring together the fundamental concepts underlying the decision to become an vegetarian, leaving each participant the freedom to examine all the aspects of such a vast and complex issue. We will start the discussion with a brief introduction on the validity of associating naturism with vegetarianism; we will then give a few historical examples and examine the position of the FENAIT on this issue.
Then we will further examine the definition of vegetarianism, giving an overview of the main types of vegetarians and explain how vegetarianism has spread throughout Italy. We will take a look at the various reasons people choose to become vegetarian, i.e. ethical, ecological and health.
The decision to become vegetarian is often based on the respect for other forms of life, the harmful pressure of humans on the environment and the benefits that can be obtained by limiting one's consumption of animal protein. We will also examine the reasons given by those who are against the decision to become a vegetarian, briefly the human need for a diet containing complex foods, necessarily including foods of animal origin, and the risks of a poor diet during certain stages of human life, e.g. the formative years and pregnancy. We do not want to hold a lesson on this issue but rather develop a discussion with the public to compare ideas and experiences without taking a staunch position in favor of or against vegetarianism.
In fact the choice to become a vegetarian is a personal decision that first and foremost requires knowledge of a series of notions... just like naturism does. Depending on how much time we have, and the interest shown by the public, the discussion can have a followup focused on the critical consumption of goods and services.
This approach would be based on considerations similar to those of vegetarianism to give naturists other useful elements to make informed decisions about how to behave as a conscientious citizen instead of a mere consumer.
ETHICAL NATURISM AND COMMERCIAL NATURISM Roundtable conducted by Andrea Contini
1) WHAT DO NATURISTS SEEK? NATURISM AS A LIFESTYLE, NATURISM ONLY ON VACATION.
Real naturists, those who intend and live naturism not only as exterior nudity but as a way of thinking and a lifestyle, seek a way of life that is more in harmony with nature and its cycles, harmony that the world of work and city life have brought further and further away from us. What do we mean by a naturist lifestyle? It is a naturism that does not stop when the vacation is over, or after a pause for relaxation. It continues even when we are dressed, promoting by one's example, lifestyles and consumption styles that are more ecocompatible than those commonly advocated.
One thing that is extremely important is that the true naturist sustains and promotes naturism by joining official naturist associations to make this lifestyle and philosophy more widely known, practiced and shared. But the evolution of the past three years is witnessing, not only in naturism but in general, a sort of crisis in the mentality of associations and we are seeing more naturists of the “eat and run” type. They use the centers and/or naturist sites as a resort or a beach like any other. Here is the first point to think about: what do naturists seek today?
2) EVOLUTION IN NATURISM: FROM A CLUB OF FRIENDS WHO SHARE AN IDEA TO A VACATION RESORT.
Organized Naturism is over 60 years old (the INF/FNI was founded in Montalivet, France, in 1953). Societal trends have obviously affected naturism: from the faith and the future of the 1950s to the utopias of the 1960s and the conflicts and backlashes of the 1970s, the hedonism of the 1980s, the globalism of the 1990s and finally to the identity crisis of the last decade.
Within our federations we are seeing the tendency of naturists who no longer join associations or established clubs or naturist sites but go spend their vacations at naturist centers that have become resorts (in France, Spain, Croatia, and the USA). The two systems have always coexisted but the latter form, i.e. resorts, are starting to become predominant: when earlier I spoke about the crisis of associations in naturism I was referring specifically to the phenomenon of naturists no longer joining clubs and their exodus to naturist resorts, especially to the large ones with amenities.
There is a new breed of naturists, different from those of past decades; the naturists of the past sought to build something together, with a group of people who shared the same idea. Does this mean that the essence of naturism or the naturist ethic has changed?
3) WHAT IS THE NATURIST ETHIC?
Naturism is a way of living in harmony with nature and practicing nudity in a group for the purpose of fostering respect for self and others as well as the surrounding environment. For 36 years this has been the official definition of naturism.
A definition that is still valid. We can add that it is a way of living that is healthy, educational and ethical. What do we mean by ethical and what do we mean by naturist ethic?
By ethics (from the Greek word ethos= rules of life) we mean everything concerning the practical behavior of human beings when faced with the concept of good and evil.
The naturist ethic adheres to the principles and rules established by the INF/FNI, connected to the practice of fullbodied nudism in a group.
These rules govern the behaviors associated with the practice of full-bodied nudism in a group. In fact those who do not respect the rules have their INF/FNI cards taken away; these cards allow access to official naturist facilities all over the world. What are the practical behaviors through which naturists respect and/or do not respect these rules?
4) THE NATURIST ETHIC AND PRACTICAL BEHAVIORS
The development of organized naturism during almost 60 years attracted millions of people of different cultures, nationalities and ages and generated various types of awareness and behaviors. The strict observance of the naturist ethic is easier in a small community such as naturist clubs or in nations where the concept of naturism is more socially and historically accepted (e.g. in Germany numerous public parks have naturist areas; in Denmark naturism is allowed by law on all beaches). However it is not so easy to maintain in places where a business-only principle exists, where the values of naturism have been trampled upon (e.g. Cap d’Agde in France or Monsena in Croatia), giving rise to behaviors and mentalities that create confusion about the naturist identity inthe mass media and public opinion, often making naturism seen to be something that it is not.
How can we reconcile the practical behaviors of genuine naturists and neo-naturists or those whose mentalities are close to naturism but who are not yet ready to practice nudity in a group setting.
5) WHAT ARE THE NATURISTS OF TODAY LIKE? IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM AND NUDISTS? WHAT ARE THESE DIFFERENCES? IN A NATURIST CENTER DO NATURISTS AND NUDISTS BEHAVE DIFFERENTLY?
At this point we have to ask ourselves if today's naturists are the same as those of yesterday. The naturism of the first centers 60 years ago in Europe and 40 years ago in Italy witnessed a unity among naturists toward a preferred type of naturism with shared rules and behaviors.
This sharing developed a sense of brotherhood and cooperation among these groups: this spirit of brotherhood and cooperation laid the foundations of the associations and national federations, like the Italian federation. Today, as stated earlier, as naturist practice has expanded, there has been and continues to be a fragmentation of the "model naturists".
There is still the naturist of yesterday but these naturists have been overlapped by others, less ideological than the orthodox naturists. In fact they possibly stop at the nudist aspect of naturism.
What is the difference between the nudist and the naturist?
We could say that the first difference is intrinsic and important: while nudists limit themselves to the more exterior and hedonist aspect of naturism, conceiving it not as an ethical-ecological practice of social gathering, naturists feel it is fundamental to practice nudity with others, making it a social and socializing nudity, i.e. not a point of arrival but a point of departure, one reason being the other ethicalecological considerations.
Does this difference lead to different behaviors between nudists and naturists?
6) HOW TO COMBINE THE CONDUCT OF NATURISTS WITH THE ENTREPRENEURIAL NEEDS OF COMMERCIAL NATURIST CENTERS.
Today it is important that naturist behavior, ethically naturist according to the definitions given so far, be an example to those who are approaching it for the first time, as neophyte naturists or merely as nudists. We naturists are, even unconsciously, and must be daily examples for neophytes and for those who believe they will find in naturism behaviors that do not belong to naturism. But we must not close ourselves indignantly in a sort of ivory tower.
Another reason for remaining open is that it is in our interest to help naturist practice expand more and more in naturist places and centers and to make these places hospitable, wellorganized, etc.
But here experience has taught us that there can be a dichotomy, a fork in the road; not always do naturist principles and the entrepreneurial needs of the centers go hand-in-hand. How can we combine the naturist behaviors with the entrepreneurial needs of the commercial naturist centers?
NATURISM AND ECOLOGY Roundtable conducted by Carlo Alberto Castellani
Naturism was born in Germany and France in the period between the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s when the nascent industrial civilization started made it difficult for human beings to maintain contact with nature and its rhythms. In contrast to modern lifestyles imposed by consumer society, early naturism proposed a return to lifestyles that were closer to nature through the culture of the body and the practice of nudity in groups.
The very definition of Naturism, formulated in 1974 at the International Convention of Cap d’Adge, says that “it is a way of living in harmony with nature; moreover most of the major naturist associations have memorandums of association with explicit references to the protection of nature, animals and vegetation.
After all, in order for it to be practiced outdoors there must be a sound natural environment that one wants to belong to. Therefore the close cultural affinity between naturism and ecology would seem to be a given, since both share the inspiring value of respecting nature and therefore protecting nature. In daily practice however things do not seem to go this way: except in rare cases, the naturist movement seems indifferent or at least extraneous to the cultural debate over the environment and its protection, while it usually does not share with ecological associations the battle to defend nature; symptomatically, at least in Italy, association by the Ministry of the Environment.
All of this seems to express a huge contradiction within the naturist movement which perhaps determines one of the causes of its insufficient roots in current society. This roundtable therefore sets out to open a discussion on this issue to share experiences of the naturist movement in Europe and throughout the world and pose the question of what should be the proper relationship between naturism and ecology, especially in view of the ecological crisis that is destroying the planet; what is the cultural contribution that naturism intends to bring to this delicate debate and what relationship will naturism want to establish in a society that is increasingly afflicted by ecological issues?
THE NATURIST EXPERIENCE AS VIEWED BY WOMEN AND BY MEN: DISCUSSION TO SINGLE OUT POSSIBLE DIFFERENCES IN GENDER IN TERMS OF THE WAY ONE APPROACHES AND EXPERIENCES NATURISM Roundtable conducted by Simona Carletti and Elio Vera
The workshop sets out to create a space for participants to ponder and exchange experiences to look at the reasons that lead a woman or a man to practice nudism. The purpose of this is to provide arguments against those who in Italian society, and elsewhere, are still wary of and sometimes openly hostile to the practice of nudism/naturism.
Some of these people go so far as to compare naturism to perverse behavior that offends the common sense of modesty or generates uncontrollable and dangerous sexual stimuli.
This is something that any naturist knows is untrue. We start from the premise that some motives are absolutely the same for women as for men, motives that we all share because we've experienced them and they have been described in articles and books (and therefore we can confirm them at the beginning of the workshop by way of the facilitators of what we intend to be a focus group).
Then an open and sincere discussion will be encouraged between the participants to bring out their motivations, this time no longer common to both sexes but peculiar to women or men. These motivations are rarely expressed and sometimes cause misunderstandings and produce stereotypes.
The function of the two moderators, Simona and Elio, will be to create a climate in which it is possible to express oneself while suspending judgment on what others say, letting such self-expression of ideas and gender differences be expressed without inhibition. These differences will inevitably emerge, due to the genetic, physical, psychological and cultural differences that characterize males and females.
This exercise will allow us to make a small, modest but important contribution to a better mutual understanding and acceptance between the two sexes. In fact for naturists the relation between new persons is extremely relaxing and reassuring. Nudity, as pointed out by a naturist friend who we met during the last edition of Alpe Adria, is that “mental state that allows people to look each other in the eyes" and do without superstructures and cultural conditioning, serving only to masquerade reality and create false modesty.
This is then transformed into profitable commercial products. The real question to pose "textiles" is this: what is the rational reason for "covering up" in conditions where "clothing" no longer serves a natural function of protecting against hostile natural elements (e.g. cold, bad weather, heat, etc.).
From the workshop we can derive an article for publication, reporting the experience of the workshop and its results.