Hyping social justice in Black Rock City

Each August, tens of thousands of freakniks congregate in the Black Rock Desert about 3 hours northeast of Reno, NV for something resembling an annual pilgrimmage. Burning Man is a phenomenal experience, and I was proud to promote social justice through several projects this year. My musical performances raised various political themes (especially my Saturday afternoon set at TransFOAMation, where I spit a new rhyme amidst others addressing issues from police violence to climate change and intersectional solidarity), and I was thrilled for the chance to publish a blog post about a week before the convergence to explain and promote the otherwise disparate actvities of several camps dedicated to racial, immigrant, climate, and gender justice.

Que Viva brought together activists in the movement for black lives, Red Lightning included indigenous elders and activists from Standing Rock, and TransFOAMation (my camp) joined forces with Gender Blender to give thousands of burners an intro to gender expression and the history of trans resistance. In the few days since returning home, I’ve heard several former burners explain that they stepped away from burner communities because their hedonism seemed self-indulgent. To that, I would simply remind anyone that life in general, or any experience–including Burning Man–is entirely what you make it!

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