Star Wars. Desert camping. Talks on topics aligned with Leave No Trace and Self Reliance. A nod to the Davos World Economic Forum. Sharara, Arabic for “spark”, has it all…
Sharara desert camp-out festival @ the Star Wars site in the Tunisian Sahara (inaugural edition 1-3 April 2017) has a ShararaTech call for submissions that is open till 31 March 2016 on Water, Energy and Self-Reliance around the Mediterranean. Burners are welcome to participate.
This solution-based festival and geography anchored event (Sharara which stands for “Spark” in Arabic) was conceived by a lady entrepreneur who was selected by Davos WEF in 2002 as a Young Arab Leader for her role in creating the first venture capital fund in the Arab part of the Middle East. As a burner she, Amal Alayan could see long back, Sharara as an answer to a question raised by the Guardian recently with the title “What would it look like if Davos and Burning Man would have a baby?”. For a snap shot of Tatooine where Sharara will take place, check out this link. Leonardo Journal of MIT Press, Sharara publishing partner, plans to publish a special section on artworks participating in this event.
It’s an Art and Science festival. No word on if there will be DJs, or drinking, or any other kind of partying. They’re looking for art and tech talks.
Their publishing partner is the Leonardo International Society of the Arts, Sciences and Technology. Your art might get featured in MIT Press’s Leonardo Journal, which would be a nice gift to give your
friends patrons at Da Vinci’s Workshop. Well, it would be except that this event won’t actually happen until 2017.
Tune in to Tunis.
First, they get a Google guy going over there to launch a social media-fuelled series of revolutions, using technology developed at Burning Man. It all literally began with a spark and a burning man, when a Tunisian man set himself on fire to kick off the protests – which at their peak in Tunisia were generating 2200 tweets per day.
Next step? Time for an Arab “spark: a Burning Man-like story”. Something futuristic, the best of the West, at Star Wars no less. Followed up with a bunch of venture capital flowing into the startup sector.
They have some heavyweight counter-culture tech credit behind them, with promotion from the Buckminster Fuller Institute.
What would it look like if Burning Man and Davos had a baby? Maybe it’s Sha-ra-ra
Check out their inspiration.
Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST) is a nonprofit organization that serves the global network of distinguished scholars, artists, scientists, researchers and thinkers through programs focused on interdisciplinary work, creative output and innovation. From its beginnings, Leonardo/ISAST has served as the virtual community for purposes of networking, resource-sharing, best practices, research and events in Art/Science/Technology.
[Update 3/8/16 7:51am]
A Balanced Perspective has pointed us to the Dunes Electroniques festival, a rave that was recently held at the Star Wars site in Tunisia. More than 1000 security personnel were employed. Here is a great write-up of the event.
Yesterday, the President of Tunisia declared the country a war zone, after skirmishes with ISIS on the Libyan border:
“The majority of Tunisians are now in a state of war against barbarism,” he said from the capital, Tunis.
[Update 3/9/16 9:24am]
Amal Alayan, event organizer, says the President was incorrect in his statement that the majority of Tunisians are now in a state of war, and in fact the clashes are only in one town at the border area.
the closing line about the president of Tunisia making an announce that the whole country is declared “war zone ” is not true and hurt the people of Tunisia who r the only people in the region who made Arab Spring succeed. I am in Tunisia now and know for a fact that the war zone is in one town on the east south borders with Libya . I am going Friday as a woman on my own to the west south were out Star Wars site is and will be sending u a photo .. I ran ur article by the ministry of tourism earlier today and on your quote if their president , they said “he was not referring to the whole country”
I’m not sure who to believe: the President of Tunisia, the Minister of Tourism, or the event promoter. YMMV.
Although Ben Guerdane, where 53 people were killed in an ISIS attack on Monday, is next to Tataouine, the festival site is on the other side of the country at Mos Espa
Here is the current UK foreign travel advice for Tunisia. The PDF map is more detailed.
The US State Department issued an updated Travel Advisory on Feb 29 2016.
The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the risks of travel to Tunisia and recommends that U.S. citizens in Tunisia maintain a high level of vigilance following the February 19 U.S. airstrike targeting a Tunisian terrorist facilitator at a terrorist training camp in Libya near the Tunisian border. The Tunisian government has visibly augmented its security presence in recent months, but challenges persist. This travel alert expires on March 31, 2016.
U.S. citizens should exercise extreme caution in Tunisia when frequenting public venues visited by large numbers of foreigners, such as: hotels, shopping centers, tourist sites, and restaurants. Two attacks in 2015 targeted tourists: the Bardo Museum in Tunis on March 18 and two beach hotels near Sousse on June 26. ISIL claimed responsibility for both attacks. U.S. citizens should also be alert in general to the possibility of kidnapping.
Certain cities and governorates in Tunisia have a fluid and unpredictable security environment and travel to these areas require additional scrutiny before U.S. Government personnel may travel to them. These include but are not limited to the geographical areas adjacent to the border with Algeria (Jendouba, Kef, Kasserine); the Libyan border (Ben Gardane and Medenine) and central Tunisia (Gafsa and Sidi Bou Zid).
Travel to the Algerian border region (Jendouba, Kef, Kasserine) is only allowed for U.S. Government personnel if deemed mission essential, and should be avoided by U.S. citizens given the periodic security incidents along the border regions, including the Mount Chaambi area where security operations continue against armed extremists.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Tunisia are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. You may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you or if you take pictures of certain buildings. Driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. If you break local laws in Tunisia, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.
LGBTI Travelers: Consensual same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Tunisia. Penalties include sentences of up to three years in prison. In February 2015, a Swedish man was sentenced to two years in prison, and in September 2015 a Tunisian man was sentenced to one year in prison for violating Tunisia’s law against consensual same-sex sexual relations. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
It’s still a year until the event. Hopefully world peace will be achieved by then.