[This guest post is from Dr. Graham St John, who is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, where he is working in collaboration with Prof Dr. Francois Gauthier in the Department of Social Science researching the global Burning Man movement as a religion beyond religion. His website is www.edgecentral.net.]
Lithuanian Burner Jurgita Vanagaite on playa, 2013 (photo by Paulius Musteikis)
After my first encounter with Burning Man in 2003, I grew enthused by its global reach over the subsequent decade. This trend is reflected in the 2012 Black Rock City Census results (BRC Census 2012) in which we learn that 24% of the population of Black Rock City are reported to be non-US residents (about 10% European). There is no reason to believe that this global gravitation to the quintessential do-ocracy in the desert will abate any time soon. While this trend is fascinating in itself, of corollary interest is the stimulus that descending upon the Man is having back in the world. By 2014, pilgrimage to the world’s largest temporary city has triggered a global diaspora, with regional developments worldwide, stoked and nurtured by the Burning Man Project. Across the planet, official Regional Events (adopting the Ten Principles), as well as other event-communities, art initiatives and “transformational festivals” are being influenced, if not directly inspired, by Burning Man and its ethos. Read more »
Kaip tau sekasi? How’s it going? WOW. It’s been a lovely few days here in Vilnius. And, it seems, the universe is on our side. We’ve met really lovely and friendly people, recovered two lost bags, and we’ve been graced by warm and wonderful hospitality. I’m proud to say that my little Youtube language tutorials have paid off as I can now order my morning coffee in broken Lithuanian and greet people, in their language, with a bit of confidence. I always find it fun to at least try to speak the local tongue and the locals have been all too happy to guide me through the nuances and tricky pronunciations. My curiosity about the Lithuanian Burners and sense that their creative spark was something special have led me to just the right place at the right time. Things are really happening here and it’s fun to participate. Read more »
To The Burning Faithful -
Senior officials in the Earthalujah church have informed me that my god-reaching pompadour collapsed midway through this sermon. This is like the Nike swoosh turning into a swastika – a total brand collapse. But we stand by the heartfelt hysteria in this week’s lesson. We must inject joy back into our activism, and you who erupt in dance and song every year in the desert are the prime example. See you on the playa! -Rev.