People take photographs

A new set of issues are of course raised by being naked in a public space and having people take photos of you.

First of all, it’s not always possible to know the precise reasons behind every camera, the intentions of the photographer; secondly, you have to ignore the possibility of someone finding the images exciting, because running your life on the basis of what other people think or find titillating is a very sad state of affairs to be in; and thirdly, horror of horrors, what if someone from work finds out? Really, most of us don’t live in the repressive and hypocritical Victorian or Biblical eras any more, thank goodness, and people are generally much more mature in their knowledge of nudity these days. I recall a recent employer of mine discussing a project, where there was need of some confrontational joviality to lighten the mood, and knowing my penchant for naked activities, suggesting we do a naked Maori Haka for the other half of the team. Clearly the idea of being naked at work is not as outrageous as some would have us believe. A little unusual perhaps, but after all, when the boss suggests it, who are the workers to argue?

Regardless of the many possible answers to the question of what use a photo will be put to, or who will see you, it is important to keep in mind that the WNBR was created with the express intention of attracting media attention to the event explicitly through the use of nudity. Indeed, the images of naked protesters at the WNBR are a heart-warming testament to the conviction of masses of people to put their bodies ‘on the line’, and almost certainly ‘online’ also, for a common cause, to take a risk and be naked in public for a public cause, on behalf of our environment, for all of us. One’s very own five minutes of fame.

Extract from the World Naked Bike Ride book.

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