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A Macedonian Tradition Continues: Nude Twitter Calendar Helps Promote HIV/AIDS Prevention

Twitter Calendar for 2016. Photographs by Zvonko Plavevski and Dimitar Petrovski, published under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.

Twitter Calendar for 2016. Photographs by Zvonko Plavevski and Dimitar Petrovski, published under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.

The new charity nude calendar, featuring artistic photos of Macedonian Twitter users, was launched in Skopje on December 1, 2016 as part of a festival raising awareness about HIV/AIDS prevention.

The calendar was the result of the enthusiasm of unpaid volunteers — eight women and two men — who posed for the two photographers, Zvonko Plavevski (@Giotto_mkd) and Dimitar Petrovski (@Dmee82).

Plavevski made a public call using the familiar hashtag #ТвитерКалендар (Twitter Calendar) a few months ago, and then organized the photo shoots and printing with the help of friends who contributed labor and covered the necessary expenses.

The festival, which promoted lowering risks from sexually transmitted deceases, took place on World AIDS Day:

Cool dudes, today is December 1, the World Day to combat AIDS. Test yourself, protect yourself, don't discriminate. And of course, retweet for support!

The event was well attended, and included dignitaries from the international community (residing in Skopje) — such as the ambassador for the Netherlands — who are active users of social networks:

The first Twitter Calendar was published in 2013 on the initiative of @IlinaBookbooks, and promoted breast cancer awareness. The 2014 edition, with photos by @ref, promoted sex education. After a pause for 2015, Plavevski reignited the tradition, and the 2016 edition of the calendar was born.

In spite of government efforts to remould Macedonia as a conservative, patriarchal society, and its prudish nagging about the calendars of yesteryear, it seems that the predominant reaction on social media was quite positive and encouraging.

For photographer Plavevski, the making of the calendar is primarily a stimulating challenge — professionally and artistically. His colleague Petrovski who had participated in the making of the first edition, also expressed his enthusiasm:

I would like to make #TwitterCalendar photographs on a monthly basis :)

Boychenn, the model for the July 2013 photograph, attended the launch and then tweeted that she would consider posing for the #TwitterCalendar next year:

#TwiterCalendar and protect yourself from HIV.

As with all previous incarnations of the Twitter Calendar, the photos in the 2016 edition are published under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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