32° World Naturist Congress - Interviews
The day after the World, InfoNaturista Congress ended, the leaders of the INF/FNI met: President Sieglinde Ivo, the new Vice-president Mick Ayers and the new Supervisor of Public Relations with Europe, Roger Viola.
Here we post four questions posed to all three of them:
- How did you discover naturism and where do you usually practice it today?
- Beyond the official definition of naturism, what is naturism for you?
- The Congress: can you give us a comment about the works and the organization of Pizzo Greco.
- The future of naturism: opportunity and hazards. Sieglinde Ivo, an Austrian from Linz, became President of the INF/FNI in 2008 after having been the Youth Supervisor for years:
1) “I discovered naturism at the age of 22 in a small club of my town. Two years later I started dealing with naturism I organizing events for children: than that lead to my work for the Austrian Federation and after several more years, for the World Federation. Today I practice nudism in a club on a lake near Linz but especially when Itravel to naturist sites all over the world and when I'm on vacation.”
2) “Naturism to me means freedom, in every sense of the word. Friendship, solidarity and nature, the protection and respect of nature. Loving animals.”
3) “The best Congress ever. Pizzo Greco and the FENAIT were perfect in organizing a perfect atmosphere. This meant that the delegates were not stressed, and as a result many discussions were carried out in a friendly manner without contrasts, though there were differences of opinion.
Talking together is always the most important thing. Truly, the best Congress in terms of feelings and results. Now we want to bring these positive feelings into the individual National Federations. One last thing: this Congress allowed me to become familiar with Region packed with history: the day tours that you organized to get to know the region were excellent.”
4) “Naturism has not grown much in the past few years compared to the growth that it underwent in the 1970s and 80s. But in any case growth, though to a lesser extent, has always been ongoing and widespread.
We cannot give up, we have to continue our work to communicate with the outside world and help them understand what real naturism and what his values are.” Mick Ayers was elected by this 32nd World Congress as Vice-President. A 64-year old Englishman, for twelve years was a member of the Central Committee of the INF/FNI.
1) “I am English from East Anglia, and when I was a kid there was a beach near my town, unofficially frequented by naturists. In 1963, I was 17 years old, I started going there. Ten years later I joined an association that was part of the English Federation. That was the beginning of my commitment to spreading naturism. Now I live in Spain a few months of the year and, fortunately there it is full of places where you can practice naturism tranquilly and legally.”
2) “In addition to the official definition, which is still valid and important, for me naturism is freedom and ecology, ecological tourism.”
3) “The best World Congress I ever came to. The organization here at Pizzo Greco has been wonderful, with abundant food and excellent wine. As regards the work of the Congress, I am very happy about the excellent results which were the fruit of the collaboration and comprehension among the various Federations, even because the premises in the previous months were not so positive.”
4) “Ever more frequently in the past few years, we have been witnessing free beaches dedicated to naturism being taken away from groups of people who have nothing to do with naturism, i.e. exhibitionists and wife swappers.
This not only reduces the amount of space we have gained, but public opinion conflates naturists with these kinds of people because the masses keep referring to those places as naturist, even when they, sadly, are no longer naturist. We have to work more and better to let people know what real naturism is and what it means. There are still many spaces to acquire, and we can only do it if we all work together.” Roger Viola, a 64 year old Frenchman, from a family of Italian origin, is the new Head of Public Relations with Europe.
For eight years on the INF/FNI Central Committee, I served as the Supervisor of Sports Events.
1) “In 1976, I was 30 years old, a friend invited me to a party at the naturist club he used to frequent near where I live, in northeastern France near the border with Luxembourg. After a few days I went back with my wife: the first time I was a little nervous, but then she insisted on going back ... that’s how much she liked it. Six months later I became president of the Club and started working with the French Federation. Today I do not have much time for naturist vacations because the work I do with the INF/FNI takes up a big part of my time.”
2) “The official definition is only a sentence: the reality is more complex. To give you an example, in naturist spaces people do not always practice tolerance, education, full bodied nudity, ecology, naturist ethics.
We must always and still help those who frequent the naturist centers to become all-around naturists, i.e. true naturists. This is why I so appreciated the Round Tables that the Fenait organized during the days of the Congress: these discussion help to make naturists more mindful, and help the true naturist spirit to grow. I hope these Round Tables will be held at future Congresses.”
3) “Good job, there were no problems. All the Federations were enthused about the work done by FENAIT and Pizzo Greco. As regards the works of the Congress, it will be important in the future to prepare the subjects to be discussed before sitting down at the table to avoid wasting time and duplications.”
4) “It could be that in the immediate future naturism might regress, also because today each one of us can get naked in a bunch of places without having to frequent naturist centers. We should invent something new to avoid losing patrons .
It might not be such a bad idea what they do in Croatia: mixed campsites, with areas for textiles and naturists, so the textiles can try naturism without being obligated to. Then there is the problem of free-access beaches: if a beach is given as a concession, it is important that there always be a naturist organization that presides over the beach to prevent undesired behaviors by undesirable people, to keep it clean, advertise it, etc.
This way the textiles can see a healthy naturism, without confusing it with other things that are not naturist, and they can try it after experiencing curiosity.
It is important to respect the naturist rules to appeal in a healthy way to the curiosity of people who are not yet naturists.”