"Burning Man seeks to create a large constellation of communities around the world" | Culture



"Very funny, very free and very challenging". Jazz singer and music producer Meghan Rutigliano participated for the first time in 2005 in the social experiment Burning Man that for a week brings together more than 70,000 people in the desert of Nevada (USA). And such was the experience that has since become "in the meaning of his life and in more than a million friends." Now she is the international head of the network that unites the meeting with more than 85 events in 37 different countries. "We are already at the limit of participants, we want to create a great constellation of events around the world," he announces.

And that message has taken him to Bilbao. In the old cookie factory of Artiach de Zorrozaurre, invited by Maker Faire Bilbao, has today presented to all the attendees "the experience of living for a week in a city that is not governed by money and that faces the desert". Dressed in an original green skirt, with matching glitter on her cheeks and two large golden rings as earrings, she has projected during her talk different images of the projects that come to life in the Burning Man. "The challenge of living 70,000 people in the desert Every year new solutions and new opportunities to share, enjoy and create arise. "

The challenge has brought together in its 38 editions the most privileged minds of Sillycon Valley, as well as nostalgic hippies from Florida. They are such creative solutions that prominent entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos have come in search of talent, as well as other outstanding celebrities. "We have designed a parallel program to solve humanitarian problems around the management of waste, the development of green energies and the ability to respond to natural tragedies."

The ephemeral city lasts eight days and then it is still alive throughout the year thanks to the network of events spread throughout the world. With less than a month to go back to sell tickets for this non-festival that takes place the last week of August want to respond to all the people who can not access them. "We want to enrich ourselves now with all the events that we have inspired and also learn from them," says Rutigliano.

So since 2001, the Burning Man has a brother encounter in the Monegros under the name Nowhere. Created by Englishmen, built by the French and managed by Italians, it is one of the most multicultural in the whole network and one of the ones that has grown the most. Of the 35 first participants, it already gathers more than 3,500 of 39 different nationalities. "We all understand each other with the universal language of creativity", points out its coordinator, Sarah Vivien, also in Bilbao accompanying Rutigliano.

More than a festival, Vivien speaks of the Nowhere as another "intense social experiment" that proves "what would happen if we all behaved like civilized people managing our waste and sharing time with our neighbors". Last year they experimented with a hydrogen cell generator to get enough electricity for the whole week. They also tested an oven with solar energy and a refrigerator with an evaporation system. "We do not have assistants, we have participants: all the creators are considered artists and the show is sharing knowledge", they clarify.

In the Burning Man, as in their network meetings, you can not use money all week, except to buy coffee and ice. The ten commandments that govern it make it clear: it must be self managed, inclusive, non-remunerative. Everything is achieved in exchange for gifts. "Here lies its success: in the end it gives you the experience of living with the support of an entire community without feeling alone at any time," Rutigliano says, satisfied with her visit to Bilbao within the activities scheduled for makers among 3D printers, open source video game programmers and interactive art designers.

The Burning Man does not promote, just let the word of mouth run and go to tell the experience where they are invited. Meanwhile, in a rainy Bilbao close the BIME (Bilbao International Music Experience), where more than 2,000 professionals from the music industry of 120 festivals around the world have shared experiences to strengthen their success. "We only want to reach those who are interested, we are aware that Nevada is far away, so calmly we went out to meet you," Rutigliano states.

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