Topless photos and racy video footage of Lebanese Olympic Skier Jackie Chamoun have gone viral in Lebanon, prompting a potential government inquiry just days before the Olympic veteran is due to compete in the women’s giant Slalom in Sochi.
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The 22-year-old skier-turned model, clad in little more than ski boots and thong underwear, gamely acquiesces to a photographer’s request to lounge in the snow or climb a treacherous-looking icefall.
During a brief interview at the end of the minute long video, Chamoun admits that it's much easier being a ski racer than a model because “I’m not used to posing with no clothes on.”The 2013 calendar was released last year, but the video only surfaced a few days ago, when the local Al-Jadeed television highlighted it in a news broadcast, calling it a “scandal.” The images took Lebanese social media by storm, and the country has spoken of little else for the past few days.
‘Don’t read the comments’ is a mantra visual artist Rasha Kahil does not adhere to.
Through her forthcoming multimedia project Anatomy of a Scandal, Kahil subverts, distorts and plays with one of the most ardent issues of the post-internet age – the act of online trolling.
The photos, taken three years ago at Lebanon’s Faraya ski resort as part of an annual Austrian cult calendar shoot featuring male and female Olympic ski instructors, are tame by most calendar criteria—her breasts are concealed by a strategically placed ski or a half-zipped parka.
The accompanying behind-the-scenes video (NSFW, to be sure) is more revealing, if chill inducing.
On finding herself target of such trolls, Kahil’s own personal experience naturally became an invigorating stimulus to generate new work, building on previous themes of intimacy, the body and what it is to be a woman she explores through her photography.