Last weekend, Israeli Burners threw a party billed as “the first Burning Man Regional Event in the Middle East”. Prior to the event, it seemed to be sold out at 2000 tickets, but there wasn’t enough money to get all the art there. Well, it looks like the event was a big success, with 3000 tickets sold. We hope that some of the extra 1000 ticket windfall for the promoters was used to help the artists who were facing a loss on the event (their Indiegogo is still running, having raised $695 of their $18,000 goal).
It looks like it was a great party, with plenty of cool art. Seems like there is a lot of room for future growth too.
The Art and Spirit from Midburn: the New Regional Burning Man Gathering in Israel
From June 3-7, 2014 the first official Israeli Burning Man event called “Midburn” took place in the heart of the Negev desert. While many Israelis participating at the gathering were familiar with the Burning Man event in Nevada, many had not been able to personally attend the Nevada Burn. Half a world away, this was the ripe opening for those who desired to join the unique Burning Man community.
In 2011, a core and committed group of Israeli burners decided to bring the spirit of the event to their own backyard in a greater way. Through meet-ups, dinners and beach burns, the community grew and thrived. This past week, the Midburn brought over 3,000 people to the desert. Around the temporary city, there were 40 theme camps and 25 art installations. For a first time burn, the environment vibrated with the spirit of Burning Man.
The “man” effigy, which is burned towards the end of the event, was a 12 meter tall structure called “Man and Eve” built by Itamar Menczer and crew. It displayed a masculine and feminine figure both with outstretched arms to the sky. Looking at them from their sides, one could see the shape of the original burning man figure that goes up in flames in Nevada each year. The temple, called the Forest of Creation, was commissioned to Shlomi Mir and was designed in the shape of five large trees, all of which could be climbed up on and would light up in blues, green and soft pink colors.
Surrounded by the desert were fractal art installations, laser cubes, forest labyrinths and mirror ponds to interact and play with. One of the most loved art pieces was the “Grandfather” by Gal Bracha, Itamar Faluja and Lior. Standing seven meters high, Grandfather was a hunched over ancient man with his walking stick. His long beard and hair were made from dried palm branches and at night, one could see his red heart beat through his wooden frame. After the event was over, he was burned, floating gracefully to the sky.
With the first Midburn successfully finished, one can only imagine what will next take place in the special deserts and communities of Israel. Check out more information about the movement that is happening with Israeli Burners on their website or Facebook.
Midburn in Israel’s Negev desert was a bizarre first attempt at the popular US festival Burning Man
FOR the Bedouin Arab shepherds tending their flocks in Israel’s Negev desert last week, it was almost as if aliens had landed from outer space.
Some 3000 people set up a colourful encampment in the dusty moonscape, swinging from hoops by day and burning giant wooden sculptures by night.
It was Midburn, Israel’s first Burning Man festival, modelled after the popular carnival held annually in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. Midburn is a mix of “midbar,” Hebrew for desert, and the English word “burn.”
For five days, participants — mostly Israelis — created a temporary city dedicated to creativity, communal living and what the festival calls “radical self-expression.”
Some came costumed in cape or corset. Others, from babies to grandparents, went nude. Participants brought their own food and water, and shared with others. The only thing on sale was ice because of the scorching heat.
There were workshops in sculpture, drawing, and touch therapy. There was music and theatre. At the “tent of heaven and hell,” participants were chosen at random for one of two fates: getting massages or doing chores.
During the day, Bedouin shepherds meandered to the fence surrounding the festival to observe the spectacle. When day turned to night, a larger-than-life wooden sculpture was set on fire.
The festival took place a few miles southwest of the desert gravesite of Israel’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion, who dreamed of making the Negev desert bloom — though he probably didn’t envision it blossoming with hula hoops and pyrotechnics.
At the end, participants were told to remove their own trash and leave the desert without a trace.
Note that, despite the promoters paying for 2 official BMOrg personnel to be there for ranger training, it’s now a week since the event and so far there is nothing from BMOrg or the Burning Man Project about this event. Instead they’re talking up a Shabbat dinner on the Playa this year. According to the Jackedrabbit coverage is “coming soon” on the official blog.
Burning Man’s traveling troubadour and Social Alchemist Bear Kittay was there: