PHONES, PHOTOS & PRIVACY IN TANKWA TOWN
Tankwa Town is a huge city with all sorts of people coming together to express themselves creatively. It's special because it's NOT like the default world we live in for the other 51 weeks of the year. The ethos at AfrikaBurn is centered around the guiding principles, which we strive to uphold in all our actions whether on site or in the default world.
When people 'radically express' themselves at AfrikaBurn they do so without judgement or fear of being different. This can take the form of being naked and painted bright blue or even just doing silly walks and gifting a performance of your bad poetry. It's important that everyone at AfrikaBurn feels safe and able to express themselves without the possibility that someone has filmed them on their phone and then uploaded it to Instagram for likes and LOLS.
Therefore, please don't film or take photos of anyone at AfrikaBurn without their express permission.
AfrikaBurn is very protective of the privacy of its participants and every year has to submit removal requests for YouTube videos, and even stock photography sites where people are trying to sell images and make money off participants without their consent. It's up to all of us to avoid this happening and report instances where we think images and videos of participants are being used without permission.
We usually have fancy pink wristbands that are available with 'NO PHOTO' written on them, these are valid and important visual symbols that the individual does not want to have their image captured. However, this does not mean that everyone who doesn't have a pink wristband wants you to take a picture of them in their sparklepony pants. This year, pink wristband or not, the ongoing agreement upon entering Tankwa Town is that all participants at AfrikaBurn have not given their consent to be photographed. Only the people who expressly give permission for their photo to be taken can be photographed in Tankwa Town.
If you really want a picture of someone you don't know yet, you must ask them and get permission. Any verbal permission given also just consents to take the image for your own use - it does not give you permission to upload it to the internet or even send it to your friends.
It's a cold fact that in Tankwa Town, phones kill immediacy.
Please take a photo of your art car, take a photo of your campmates all together after your setup, or your favourite artwork, but please try and put your phone away for the rest of the burn. You're possibly missing out on the joy of Tankwa Town life when you view it through your device. Disconnect from the web, take a holiday from social media and connect authentically with your fellow burners. Trust us, your friends in the default world will think you are much cooler when they DON'T know what happened at AfrikaBurn. Try explaining that you got a lift on a giant snail while a giant four-story lampshade went up in flames without photos, it's much more fun.
What if you see someone taking your photo without permission?
You are fully within your rights to ask that person to stop filming you and to delete the image or video. This is fully within the privacy laws in South Africa. "The right to privacy is recognised as a fundamental human right in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and is protected in terms of the Constitution and the common law." You don't need to shout or berate them, they may not yet know about privacy at AfrikaBurn and if you tell them in the right way, then they'll pass the message on further.
We don't like to bark rules at people in Tankwa Town ... "STOP WEARING FEATHERS YOU FUCKTARD" has never worked as effective MOOP communication in the history of AfrikaBurn. We prefer the more authentic "Hello, I'm from the Sparklepony Brigade ... Can I chat to you about
Cheeses MOOP and why it's so important right now? The exact same goes for privacy, photography and phones ... talk about it and figure out what works for you and your fellow Tankwa Town citizens.
More nudity might actually help protect our participants privacy. If there's one thing the default world does not like on social media, it's naked people. Zuckerborg has built a powerful AI engine that can sniff out a hint of a nipple or dingly dangly bit and stop it from getting online amongst all the extremism. If nudity is your thing in Tankwa Town, please feel free to shake your money makers in-front of any cameras that you want to. It will never make it past the filters on social media (although your Onlyfans career might take off). #DoYourBit #ShakeYourBits