WHAT IS BURNERS WITHOUT BORDERS?
Every summer Burning Man participants (aka Burners) meet in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada to re-engage with our community, and to celebrate shared values of radical self-expression and self-reliance. We celebrate the power of community, honor the importance of art, and enjoy the immediacy of experience. Then we leave – without a trace of our having been there.
But that experience and those values don’t get left behind in the desert. They inform who we are, and how we interact with the larger world around us. BWB is a manifestation of what can happen when we take our values off the playa and out into the rest of the world.
Burners Without Borders (BWB) coalesced from a spontaneous, collective instinct to meet gaping needs where existing societal systems were clearly failing…
Following the 2005 Burning Man event, several participants headed south into the Hurricane Katrina disaster area to help people rebuild their devastated communities. As the volunteer numbers grew, they focused their initial efforts on rebuilding a destroyed Vietnamese temple in Biloxi, Mississippi. After several months, that job done, they moved to another needy Mississippi community, Pearlington, to continue to work hard — gifting their time — to help those in need. Over the course of eight months, BWB volunteers gifted over $1 million dollars worth of reconstruction and debris removal to the residents of Mississippi.
Since that time, BWB has emerged as a community led, grassroots group that addresses gaping needs where existing cultural and societal systems are failing.
What does this look like? The important thing is to create collaborations and bring as much creativity and fun to the project as possible. This website is intended to be the mouthpiece for this community’s efforts as well as a catalyst for inspiring new ideas.
Here are some examples-
-Canned Food Drive at your local bar’s Happy Hour
-Create a work day or weekend in an area in your community that could use some TLC. These gatherings are great ways to organize around long-term projects.
-Organize a Costumed Bar Crawl/Trash Pick Up in your town
-Get involved with a project your city is already planning and integrate “burner” style participation into it
So are you a non-profit group? Theme camp? disaster relief NGO?
Ah, well, about that. The answer is: yes. no. all of the above.
BWB will be filing for non-profit status later this year so that we may be able to draw upon funds that will enable us to build a sustainable organization. Tax deductible donations can be made via our fiscal sponsor, the Black Rock Arts Foundation Here. Just let them know it’s for BWB.
How can I get involved?
BWB is a meme that is propagating throughout the world with all of the projects initiated by folks, just like you. With the support of the BWB infrastructure including the website, list-serves, and coaching on community organizing, people are able to easily initiate civic works projects in their local communities.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a project in mind that you would like to take the lead on and we will be happy to support you.
Burners Without Borders is currently supporting the reconstruction efforts of Pisco Sin Fronteras, a Peruvian organization who is continuing BWB’s work in Pisco. Click Here to find out about volunteering.
You are always invited to check out what we are up to and join us in making BWB history.