There aren’t many rules in Tankwa Town (and everyone’s agreed it should stay that way) but when it comes to photography and film, etiquette is all about common sense and respect: ask first.
Whether you’re a happy snapper with a point ‘n shoot, a professional photographer or taking shots for a media title, you need to be respectful of people’s right to privacy. Even if they’re naked as the day they were born, the onus is on you as the photographer to request permission if the image you intend to record would in any way infringe on another person’s rights.
One important thing to bear in mind about AfrikaBurn is that it’s not a public event – it’s held on private land, with access limited to those who have tickets. This means that unless you have express written permission to publish people on photos or film, you can’t.
It’s thus against the spirit of AfrikaBurn to publish your fellow participants in any media without their knowledge – and this is especially relevant when the person you plan on photographing is naked or semi-naked. In the same sense that you wouldn’t want your photo taken and published without your knowledge, so taking photos of people that are naked without their permission is unacceptable. This includes images that could make their way onto social media sites, or be featured in the mainstream press.
Obviously if you’re taking shots of inanimate objects, art or landscapes then these considerations change – but in those instances, if you’re shooting an artwork or other creation, it’s good practice to attribute those where possible. If you don’t know the name of an artwork or mutant vehicle, or theme camp, check your WTF Guide for the detail – or just ask someone. The team at our Arteria (located right next door to our Media Centre) are at your disposal: you can always ask them for the ID on artworks and artists – and they have event guides available for you to use for the same purpose.
Though there are lots of festivities at AfrikaBurn, in essence it’s an arts event that attracts people from all walks of life who are involved in myriad projects that come to life in the desert.
So, in your pursuit of your story, consider your focus. Are you planning to hone in on artworks, personal stories and the creative process? That’s the kind of storyline and content that does justice to the hard work and creativity that’s on show in Tankwa Town.
If you’re applying for accreditation, know this: proposals that keep the essence of the event in focus are favoured above any other, as the art, mutant vehicles, costume and décor created and gifted by the thousands of participants is where the real story lies.
If it’s a party you’re looking to showcase, perhaps consider other events – there’s a lot more to AfrikaBurn than sound systems and dancefloors.
If you’re aiming to shoot a music video, promotional clip or get footage at AfrikaBurn that’s aimed at marketing a product, please be aware that accreditation is not provided for projects of that nature. Why? Because – in line with our principle of decommodification – our community doesn’t seek to profit off each other or use our culture as a backdrop for commercial enterprise. This includes using AfrikaBurn, or the artworks and people who make the event what it is, as props.
You’ve got a great car / tent / camera / soft drink or other product, and the company that makes it is footing the bill for a great little jaunt in an exotic location – and you think our event would make the perfect backdrop? Sorry – that’s not going to happen.
PLEASE NOTE: Accreditation for AfrikaBurn does not entitle you to anything in particular, including tickets – and we reserve the right to refuse accreditation applications.
Civil aviation regulations that apply to drones & UAV’s have rapidly changed over the last 3 years, with the result that any drone-mounted camera footage is now strictly controlled, especially over areas such as active airspace and over people and populated areas (both of which our city features).
If you have any plans to capture stills or film from a drone, you would need to follow the same registration process as all other registered operators of flying and aerial craft. For more info, please see our Aircraft / Drones page.
To obtain accreditation, you’d need to submit a detailed proposal of what you plan to cover, film or shoot at our event, as part of your application.
For more info on Media & Photography guidelines, read our download the Rules & Etiquette doc.