Last year I attended Burning Man and wrote a piece about my experiences with what I considered the culture of unapologetic appropriation at Burning Man in the name of freedom and art. This post started a huge flame-war, both here at Feministing, along with Burning Man message boards across the country. I knew I had hit a nerve but this latest incident between the Burning Man community and the indigenous community in the Bay Area sheds more light on the point I was trying to get at.
via East Bay Express.
There was supposed to be a “private” Burner party last Saturday night at the Bordello in Oakland, complete with three hundred guests, twenty DJs spinning thumping techno and bass, dancers, a fashion show, micro-massages, raw food, an absinthe bar, and coconuts. Instead, the event ended in tears.
More than fifty Bay Area Native American rights activists converged on the historic East Oakland property at 9:30 p.m. to ensure the shutdown of popular Burning Man group Visionary Village’s “Go Native!” party. The fired-up Hopis, Kiowas and other tribal members spent more than four hours lecturing the handful of white, college-class Burners about cultural sensitivity until some of them simply broke down crying. The emotional crescendo capped a month-long saga that started with a tone-deaf dance party flyer, led to an Internet flame war and a public excoriation of Visionary Village’s young, neo-hippy leaders before real tribal elders in the East Bay demanded a cancellation of the event.
“Go Native?” Wow, just wow.
Thanks to Legba for the heads up!