At Burning Japan 2021, all the participants agreed not to post images and videos during the event and right after. In stead, we have set the opening day as Sunday August 1st for starting image and video posts on SNS.
Burning man is not a music festival. Burning Japan is not, either. It is fun participating just like other festivals, however there are more aspects often described as social experiments. And “offering safe space to all kinds of artistic expression” can be one of them.
Artistic expressions rise from the environment where everyone including the first timers and not yet sophisticated ones are accepted by audience. It is also natural for audience to take pictures of something they have never seen. We should be aware that sharing images without consent or taking it out of context jeopardizes artists’ urge to express in many ways. At Burning Japan, we would like to offer the space where you don’t have to face such judgement from the world outside.
On the opening day, I’d like to remind how we handled photo shooting on site.
Let’s start posting images on SNS from Sunday August 1st.
It was prohibited to video stream from Burning Japan in previous years, and we asked not to post images and videos during the event in 2021. All the cellphone services were available on site, however it is impossible for participants to follow all the responses to the posts they make. Why don’t we enjoy the immediate surroundings than the world in a smart phone? Spending a week to choose the best pictures and videos is highly recommended to make a decent post. Besides, text posts are exceptional.
１．Red wrist band means “No Photo / No sharing on SNS”
Everyone received the black and red wrist band at the check in. Red side says “NO PHOTO” which indicates that the participant does not like to be picture taken or shared online. One can flip sides whenever they like to and photographers could see their status before asking. Please refrain from sharing when you find a red band in your picture.
２．Ask first to take a picture.
It is as simple as “Can I?”. Even the top artists can say no and have control over when to be photographed, why not the first timers and the not-yet-known artists?
３．Use Discord for sharing at ＃media.
You can use Discord for sharing among participants. Check the category #写真共有_media. There is a shared album for participants, too.
４．Good photographers should register as Media at the GATE!
Photographers that have offered their great photographing skills as gift registered at the gate, and we had 7 of them receiving the armband as Media. They followed the guideline and still needed to ask for consent before taking pictures, but the armband made communications smoother. Whenever organizers are asked to use pictures for any kind of media, we will contact them for permission.
It is getting common not to allow pictures and to put a sticker over a smart phone’s lens at events nowadays. It is understandable however also prevents opportunities for participants to collaborate for works of photography and videos. As we believe that there should be a better solution between the complete No photography policy and the instant sharing hell, we asked everyone to participate the experiment this year. Thank you for your collaboration and we are hoping to keep practicing for the better way as the experiment is not final or over yet.
photo by Samba machine