Community Care in the Big Tent

(x-post from Comfort & Joy mailing list)

As many of us prepare to leave for the Playa in a few days, I wanted to bring up a subject that I feel very strongly about —- caring for our community in our big tent (and our camp in general).

We are not anybody’s mothers, but we need to keep in mind that for some of our guests our big tent is a completely new (and hopefully magical) experience. They may NOT be ready/able to fully practice self-care, and may need us to look out for them.

If you see anybody who looks out of it, lost, or freaked out, it is always good to politely ask “are you OK?, “Do you need some water?”, or “Can I help?”. If needed, find out if they are here with friends and get them. If you need to wake somebody up because you think they may be out of it, then do it. If you feel someone needs medical attention, then insist on it. Someone passing out is a medical problem and should be handled (with love and without judgement).

Part of the magic of C&J is our sex-positive energy. This can be abused (especially against people experiencing it for the first time). Excess alcohol/etc can cause people to lose the ability to provide consent. This loss of consent can result in unwanted sexual advances or non-consensual unsafe sex. If something doesn’t look right, you are empowered to step in and investigate. If you feel that someone is out of it and unable to consent then end it. You may make someone unhappy or cause a scene, but this is our camp and we need to care for our guests. If you can’t do this, then find another camp member who can.

I’d love to hear any discussion from others of how to best keep ourselves and our guests safe while we are in Comfort & Joy.


Photos by Dot on the Playa

This year I will once again be bringing my camera to the Playa. This is meant to be my gift to the camp, and I also want to respect everyone’s privacy. Here is how I approach my photography:
  • I will try to always ask permission before taking photos of people at our camp. The once exception is people who are doing a performance on stage. I will not be offended if you do not want to be photographed. On the other hand, I will be delighted if you approach me and ask to be photographed with a special outfit or friend.
  • Photos by Dot
    Photos by Dot

    Feel free to ask if you want photography for your event. I may not be able to accommodate all requests, but will do what I can.

  • I never take photos of sexual activity in the big tent (and neither should anyone else)
  • I will make all of my photos available to the camp (and the public) via Facebook, and other internet sites. I will honor any requests to remove any photos of you that you decide should NOT be shared. I am happy to give you full resolution files for any photos that you are in. This allows you to print/edit photos for your own use. I do NOT tag images on FB unless I know you very well and am confident that you will approve. My account does not allow 3rd party tagging in FB. Thus you should NOT find unexpected photos from me suddenly showing up in your timeline.
  • Photos may be used for C&J promotion and fundraising. No other uses will be allowed without permission of folks in the image.
  • Photos with nudity are always an issue. On one hand I want to capture the full joy and freedom of C&J, and on the other hand people may not want nude images of themselves around. The last few years I posted black censor bars over genitals in photos unless I was told directly by participants to remove them. This has a weird anti-body feel, but is the best I’ve found so far.
  • I do most of my photography at dusk when the light is best. I don’t do a lot of night photography. Ask if you want to be sure that I’ll capture your special look.
  • let me know if you want to do a special photo shoot on the Playa. I’ve done this in the past, and its been lots of fun.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.