Australia

Thousands go nude on Bondi Beach to raise awareness for skin cancer ‘ticking time bombs’

Thousands of people have bared all at Sydney’s Bondi for photographer Spencer Tunick, bringing a new meaning to the term beach bum.
A section of the beach was declared a temporary nude beach after a change to local laws allowed the event to go ahead.

The shoot was staged as part of National Skin Cancer Action Week to remind people to get checked for skin cancer.

The photo shoot was to raise awareness on the importance of early detection for skin cancer. Source: AAP / AP

“We hope this artwork can get people’s attention and save people from our national cancer, because we shouldn’t be dying from this,” organiser Scott Maggs told AAP before the event.

“It’s one of the most treatable cancers if it’s found early.”

But with many putting off regular skin checks due to the pandemic, Mr Maggs predicts a bottleneck of late-stage cancers in the health system.

“There’s all these ticking time bombs, people walking around that might have skin cancer that don’t even know about it,” he said.
Mr Tunick, a US photographer famous for organising large-scale nude shoots, noticed a worrying mark on his back just before leaving for his trip to Australia.

“It looks like a smiling skull when you look at it up close, so obviously, I got even more nervous,” he said.

Australia Spencer Tunick

Artist and photographer Spencer Tunick instructs hundreds of nude people posing on Bondi Beach in Sydney on Saturday, 26 November 2022. Source: AAP / AP

After getting his skin checked, the ominous mark, fortunately, turned out to be non-cancerous.

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Two in three people are diagnosed with the condition by the age of 70.
The Sydney event is being run in collaboration with charity Skin Check Champions, which runs free clinics in high-risk communities.

The last time Mr Tunick was in the harbour city, more than 5,000 people disrobed in front of the Opera House as part of Mardi Gras in 2010.

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