Burning questions - Page 5

Spark debuts at DocFest with a sympathetic look at Black Rock City LLC's intention to gift Burning Man back to the people. But is it true?

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Burning Man board member Michael Mikel cruises past Burn Wall Street during the 2012 event in this image from 'Spark'.

Should the gratitude we feel toward them really be so much greater than the gratitude they feel toward us, the people who hold fundraisers and make sacrifices and toil for months on end for no compensation to give Burning Man its artistic, cultural, and financial value?

In that sense, it's the community that has gifted Burning Man to the people who run it. So, as Spark claims, is the LLC really planning to gift it back? We'll see. As Weitz told me when we discussed that idea and whether it's really true, "I think everyone wants to live up to that phrase."

Brown also told us that final phrase might have been a little wishful thinking, or perhaps a prompt for burners: "I wrote that card for the end of the film expressing the intention we heard from the Burning Man founders, but I also wrote it to show that it is a process that is just beginning, and we do not yet know the outcome. My bet is that the community will hold them to it."

Guardian City Editor Steven T. Jones is the author of The Tribes of Burning Man: How an Experimental City in the Desert is Shaping the New American Counterculture (2011, CCC Publishing).

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