Interview, Burning Man ambassador Bear Kittay, part 1


In 1986, a California man named Larry Harvey gathered a handful of friends on a beach northwest of San Francisco and burned a larger-than-life wooden man and a less-large wooden dog. Harvey called the act “radical self-expression”, and held the event again the following year, burning a larger “Man”.

The year after that, the wooden man was 12 meters tall, and the event had started to draw an enthusiastic following, a following that two years later included the police, who were concerned about the safety aspects of burning a four-story wooden structure in public.

With the involvement of the police, it was clear a different venue was needed, and in 1991 “Burning Man” moved to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

Burning Man now hosts nearly 70,000 participants, who come to the desert for a week to create a community called Black Rock City, dedicated to art, self-expression, and self-reliance. At the end of Burning Man, the participants make a point of leaving no trace that they’d been there.

Bear Kittay is a “social alchemist and global ambassador” for Burning Man, and I spoke with him in the autumn, when he was in Tokyo to attend Burning Japan, which is part of a global network of events affiliated with Burning Man. Burning Japan was held in southern Boso Hanto in September.

1986年、カリフォルニア出身のラリー・ハーベイとジェリー・ジェイムスは、一握りの友達と共にサンフランシスコ北東部のビーチに集まり、等身大の木製の人型とそれより小さい木製の犬を燃やし、これを徹底的な自己表現(radical self-expression)の活動として、次の年にも開催。その際には、更に大きな人型を燃やしています。




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Burning Man photo © Trey Ratcliff

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