At the start of the year I set up an Appeal page with the aim of finding out how many people out there were being affected by the censorship of bodypainting on the world's most well known social platform and to try and gain support for something that is a large and very important part of my life. Support has been growing steadily and it has become apparent that this is an issue which is deeply affecting artists, photographers, models and appreciators alike. It is very upsetting when work is flagged and removed - especially as the vast majority of this work is quite obviously a long way away from being pornographic in intent or practice and it is work which is greatly important to those who post it. Recently we've seen a huge increase in the amount of photos and pages being reported as even pages celebrating the cream of the crop, such as The World Bodypainting Festival's official page, have been flagged, removed and their users blocked for up to a month. It has become quite apparent that we are in the midst of a subjective war against bodypainting and many, myself included, recognize the possibility of a personal nature to this attack on a beautiful art-form that celebrates the human form rather than sexualizing it.
The latest development on this front is that even links to articles on the topic of body painting are being removed - this morning from the Appeal page itself - and my wonderful new joint admin Karin Sprietzer has found herself blocked from her account for the next 30 days for posting them. True, the articles contained degrees of nudity - however as external links shouldn't a line should be drawn on their censorship? One is from an online newspaper... so nipples are ok for the news but not for social media? C'mon....
As it now seems too risky to repost these on our Appeal page - something I am trying to run with the utmost tact and diplomacy - I have decided to repost the links here instead so all your wonderful people still have access to the information. The first regards the work of the Danish politicians who are currently in talks with Apple and Facebook in regards to their nudity policy and can be found by clicking HERE. The second is an article specifically about Facebook censorship by War Paint Mag and can be found by clicking HERE.
This year's Boomtown Fair was once again an undeniably epic weekend of magical mayhem which I again spent working with Happy Slap Boutique. This year we moved from the chill out field into the city's new Latin Quarter aptly named 'El Barrio Loco', an area with a "fearsome reputation as the most full on party in town." To merge in nicely with the Mexican theme we presented Él Espactaculo Esquelto'' - a Day of the Dead themed skeleton sideshow which culminated in our biggest ever bodypainting project on the Sunday where a multitude of Happy Slappers got involved to produced seven skeleton bodypaints! For this skeleton extravaganza I painted the wonderful Miss Lizzie West who also posed as my canvas at last year's Boomtown and did a wonderful job of modeling both the bodypainting and the Die de los Muertos wig I made earlier in the year. The day before I also collaborated with Grace McComisky on a skeleton mermaid bodypaint that was done as a live performance on the stage of our venue during the day, modelled by the wonderful Gemma Hayley Daubney. A HUGE thank you to Scott Salt for all of his amazing work behind the camera - you sir are a legend!