An annual festival back in 1986 with a populous of forty was held on a beach in San Francisco (Bakers Beach) Burning Man now stands as one of the most sought out experimental experiences on the globe, with a community that stretches from continent to continent. The impact of this movement is felt worldwide. Some find it to be to intense as dust and desert like conditions ravish the lands year round.. Others find it to be the perfect societal getaway, a place to explore and challenge ourselves. Some even question if Larry Harvey (Founder/Executive-Director) has in fact managed to create a real life conscious utopia..?
(Video Credit: Judith Iam/Sage Martin/Dan Miller)
Black Rock City (Burning Man) now home to more then 50,000 people a year, rises from the dust for one week to establish itself as the biggest temporary metropolis of its kind. For over 20yrs Burning Man and its organizers have blurred the lines between what is real and not, accepted by society and deemed as taboo. Creating events, activities, workshops and art installations that poke and prod on the provoking thoughts of what our world is and what it could in fact “be” and “become”. Year round this organization pulls the strings to keep this event afloat, with regional gatherings, community events and other crowd sourced activities, they manage to maintain a strong sub-culture following that expands as time goes on.
Can Burning Man really be the key to understanding more about ourselves ..?
Burning Man and its participants have create somewhat of a free-peoples system of principals. These “10 Principles” have helped develop and establish the community in which you see fall through the ashes. But one thing is always certain, once the event decompresses the “Leave No Trace” movement surely blows the mind with wonder. Every year, the non-profit organization gathers volunteers who line the playa and pick up any “MOOP” (Matter Out of Place) restoring the playa to its original state of beauty. This basic concept is a corner stone that’s allowed Burning Man to take place in Pershing County, on the grounds of the Black Rock Desert.
(PHOTO CREDIT: TRAY RATCLIFF)
These “10 Principles” consist of several no-brainer ideals.
1. Radical Inclusion
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.
Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.
Our community seeks to create environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorship, transactions, or advertising. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory
4. Radical Self-Reliance
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources
5. Radical Self-Expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. It is offered as a gift to others.
6. Communal Effort
We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support cooperation and collaboration.
7. Civic Responsibility
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants.
Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.
We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play.
Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world.
Is Burning Man for everyone..?
The burn is not for everyone, may it be due to the harsh desert conditions or to the lack of modern amenities, Burning Man is definitely a test to ones limitations. Many say its unfair to determine your abilities without even exploring the event for yourself. I found that with each time I went, the more I learned and the less I went in with “expectations”. Its hard to imagine entering the burn for the next seven days without a game plan. Though in honesty you find that at times, more then most. The best experiences are those that are unplanned and stem from spontaneity. Each year Burning Man evolves into something new, something unseen. In just that alone they manage to rake in thousands of what they call “virgins” (first timers) each year. So if they mean to or not, the community still puts out something that attracts people to a week-long stint of love, heat, workshops, art and music. Its important to anyone who considers going, to truly wrap their head around the idea of the movement. Try to comprehend what the community strives to stand for, could you honestly handle the environment, will you find that the nightlife itself is to intense or are you just designed to always be connected to the grid.
COMING UP TOMORROW: PART. 2 – THE DESERT CANVAS MOVEMENT.
In this article we will break down the influences behind the art that Burning Man is known worldwide for, along with some exclusive videos and photos from the playa itself just for you Sugar Gamers..!
Then we will finish off with some personal highlights from this years event in the 3rd and final installment of our article.
SO STAY TUNED..!