Burners Without Borders

At Burning Man 2010, Burners Without Borders celebrated its fifth anniversary. With a glass of sweet tea in our hands, we reflected on how it all began in 2005 when news began trickling onto the playa that New Orleans was under water. Within hours of hearing the news, many Burning Man participants were inspired to take the skills they had learned in the desert and find out how those skills could help the survivors on the Gulf Coast. Burners Without Borders was born, and five years later, this community has a lot to be proud of.

We left the Gulf Coast with a question that has continued to guide us, “Where could we continue to summon the creative energy that we all generate on the playa and apply it to creating out-of-the-box solutions that will make a positive impact in the world?” Well, for the past five years, this community has responded to the call, and the answer as it turns out is, Everywhere! With ongoing projects in eight different countries, the creativity of this community knows no bounds.

At Burning Man, we celebrated the 30 projects that BWB either initiated or supported this past year. From building bottle schools in Guatemala to planting permaculture gardens in Africa to delivering relief supplies to Haiti, BWB is creating innovative solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems around the world.

This was the best Burn yet for BWB due to the wonderful support from the BWB Chicago crew. They were inspired to bring a new level of production to our camp, and it was a huge success. Participants were drawn to our camp by the amazing live music and were then invited to silk screen a shirt or make some art that will be taken to our next deployment. We were thrilled that long-time BWB supporters, The Mutaytor, decided to put on a full show at our camp. On the night of the show, it was incredible to look out to the open playa to see thousands of people rocking out and having a great time.

Although we were sad to have to pack up and go home, we left the playa feeling renewed and excited to bring this energy back to our communities. The possibilities feel endless, and we invite you to participate.

If you have an idea for a project in your community or you would like to volunteer with BWB, please go to www.burnerswithoutborders.org and get in touch.

Submitted by,
Carmen Mauk