Dereck Barlow / Houston Press

En el encierro de Pamplona no se puede hacer un selfie

A ‘selfie’ of one of the runners from the latest bullrunning at the Great Bull Run in Houston is currently going all round the world. This news item took off when the New York Daily News rated is action as one of the most dangerous ‘selfies’ in the world and the snapshot has swept like fire all across the net:  The Independent (UK), La República (Perú) and  AOL… It is probably a good moment to remind people that, at the true running of the bulls – the event held over eight days every year in July, in Pamplona, during Sanfermin fiestas this type of snapshot is totally prohibited. According to a bye-law passed by Pamplona City Hall, it is forbidden to carry video cameras on to the stretch of the running of the bulls. And even though you can take your cell phone, you cannot make any kind of use of the gadget while you are running. Consequently, a ‘selfie’ contravenes the law as it is considered a potential danger to other runners. What would a runner risk to get a cool piece of video? What possible dangerous situations would other runners be exposed to from a video-filming made by someone who wants to get a ‘selfie’ to remember from the event?

The 2013 Municipal by-law, which is now in force, states: “In addition, it is made transparently clear that there is a series of stringent prohibitions which come into effect in the running of the Bulls such as taking any kind of photo or using any kind of video or camera without the proper authorization.” It seems clear that this prohibition will not be comprehended by many runners, even some local ones, when one sees the number of videos which were recorded in 2012 from within the stretch of the whole course and particularly the ones made for the Burn trademark, where several runners carried GoPro cameras tied to their backs. In that case, the competent authorities gave authorization as the portable gadget (the camera) did not impede the movements of the runner in any way nor did it imply a danger for other runners. However, like it or not, at this moment there is a total ban on filming or taking photos of any kind. It is also a fact that on the Internet it is possible to find many videos made at the running of the bulls in Pamplona which were filmed illegally with cell phone apps. And from inside the stretch of the course. So, it is important to bear in mind that the cameras are currently illegal and that the local police will remove any runner from the course who is carrying any kind of camera or who makes any illegal use of cell-phone applications.


A ‘selfie’ is defined as “filming or photographing oneself within a particular setting which validates your presence at the actual event and your relationship with the situation”. The Oxford dictionary admitted this definition last November in its latest update.