In the Desert

MIDBURN – I was interested in finding out what happened if individuals get together when they live in the desert for the couple of days while leaving their daily life costumes behind. All I knew before I have entered the playa were the Burners’ ten principles (see below). They made me curious. How would such a temporary community life look like? 

What I could discovered was a magic place built on caring and sharing. People in fancy and creative dresses were walking the playa up and down. I could spot art installations everywhere. Some of them were complex and sophisticated. Others were easy and sophisticated as e.g. the „Bad advice“ stand. Camps surrounded the playa, offering space to relax, time to talk and meals to share a diner. The people I have met were shinning from one ear syringe to the other, in between a huge smile. 

I have barely felt freedom and community belonging like this before somewhere else. 

Burning Man’s Israeli offshoot is today, after Africa Burn, the second largest regional Burning Man. The 5-day festival is hold in the Negev desert. More than 8,000 people attended in 2016. The festival is more an art, self expression and community festival than a music festival. Camps host parties and art is displayed in the center of the festival, called playa. 90% of the festival participants are locals.

Self Reliance and Self Expression are key components – be yourself, be inclusive, and be self-dependent – the only thing you can buy on the playa is ice.

Midburn exists in the spirit of 10 principles: 1) Radical inclusion 2) Communal effort 3) Gifting 4) Civic responsibility 5) Decommodification 6) Leaving no trace 7) Radical self-reliance 8) Participation 9) Radical self-expression 10) Immediacy