Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

What to wear? What not to wear? Come here to find and how to make anything you'd wear on your body - from goggles and playawear to bodypainting and adornments.
User avatar
AntiM
Moderator
Posts: 19979
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:23 am
Burning Since: 2001
Camp Name: Anti M's Home for Wayward Art
Location: Wild, Wild West
Contact:

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by AntiM » Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:33 am

Cowboys and Indians
Pew Pew Pew
I'm triggered


I figured I may as well offend poets too with my inept haiku.

User avatar
vargaso
Posts: 779
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:26 pm
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Suburbanoya
Location: Lincoln, CA

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by vargaso » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:55 am

This is pretty funny and relevant to this discussion:

http://thehardtimes.net/2015/11/17/noth ... privilege/

I'm all for wearing whatever the hell you want at Burning Man (or anywhere else, for that matter), but context does matter. Different groups of people have different experiences with cultural appropriation based on their collective history. If a group that was stripped of their land, killed en masse and shunted away onto reservations has some, well, reservations about people whose heritage matches that of their oppressors wearing sacred garb at a giant party in the desert (which of course, was also taken from them), we shouldn't really be surprised. The effect can't go the other way, either, so that a Native American wearing a priest's collar would not have the same cultural impact because there's no history of Native American's oppressing Catholics, so as a Catholic, it wouldn't sting me in any way.

So, for me, this issue is like the "freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism" thing. Wear what you want, but don't get butthurt if someone is butthurt about it. As Trilo suggests, have a conversation about it.

User avatar
Tiahaar
Posts: 1140
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2003 9:13 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: Starship Palomino
Location: Mojave Desert, CA (also Forever via Pandora)

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by Tiahaar » Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:59 am

of some relevance, loving Bloom County's return!

https://www.facebook.com/berkeleybreath ... 45/?type=3

Image
Burning Man 2003-18; Desert Carillon, HypnoHorse, Ulaume's Chimes, Iron Native, Black Rock Solar, Portal Collective, Center Camp Café Stage and Sound Tech, 747 Project
Starship Palomino

User avatar
DerbyDave 18
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:06 pm
Burning Since: 2015

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by DerbyDave 18 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:35 pm

I would be real interested to find out how solarbum or whatever the persons name was handled the experience. To me it seemed he or she was setting him or herself up for an unpleasant and disappointing experience.

User avatar
A-RockLeFrench
Posts: 783
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:03 pm
Burning Since: 2010
Camp Name: BONERPILLAR
Location: pennsylfuckingvania

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:31 pm

DerbyDave 18 wrote: seemed he or she was setting him or herself up for an unpleasant and disappointing experience.
Welcome to Burning Man.

Jangles
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:31 pm
Burning Since: 2010
Camp Name: Camp Morning Cookie

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by Jangles » Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:25 pm

I think it's also important to check cultural "ownership" assumptions at the door. The person you perceive as appropriating might, in fact, have legitimate cultural ties to the culture you assume they are appropriating. Just because an ethnically white-looking person is wearing a headdress doesn't mean she isn't descended from a Native American lineage. She might also be a total jackass. Unless you're willing to invest the time to find out what's true (maybe both are true - people can be paradoxes!), best to not judge people and mind your own business.

But honestly, you will probably be so filled with wonder at the damn place and all of the people who beautifully warp your sense of personhood/gender/culture/time/place/era, the few that rankle your sense of ethics will pale by comparison.

simpletruth
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:49 pm
Burning Since: 2016
Camp Name: TangoBeso

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by simpletruth » Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:12 pm

GreyCoyote wrote:Whew. Glad to hear it! Because at some point a gay, buck-naked Jewish dude will run by with a henna swastika tattoo and an eagle feather protruding from his ass. Thats when the real test happens.

If you recoil in horror or revulsion, you failed.
If your first reaction was laughter followed by concern there might be a whole live bird jammed up in there, you're gonna do just fine.
I just laughed...a lot... and did not think of the bird... is that bad, will I be okay?!?!

WileE13
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:37 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Jefferson High Life
Location: Siskiyou County

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by WileE13 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:29 am

I live around a whole lot of Native Americans, some of my best friends are Native. Most of them don't give a flying fuck about "Cultural Appropriation" as long as it isn't done in a negative, insulting way. Donning Native head dress is paying homage to their culture, not "appropriating" it or degrading it anymore than putting on a viking helmet appropriates or degrades Nordic culture.

Rungus
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:34 am
Burning Since: 2006

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by Rungus » Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:39 am

Bless wrote:
SolarDor wrote:I honestly wish Cultural Appropriation wasn't a thing.
Cultural appropriation isn't a thing. Wear whatever the fuck you want. It's Burning Man for Christ's sake.
Nailed it.

User avatar
BunBuns
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:36 am
Burning Since: 2013
Location: S.FL

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by BunBuns » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:37 pm

melodiousdirge wrote:
GreyCoyote wrote:Whew. Glad to hear it! Because at some point a gay, buck-naked Jewish dude will run by with a henna swastika tattoo and an eagle feather protruding from his ass. Thats when the real test happens.

If you recoil in horror or revulsion, you failed.
If your first reaction was laughter followed by concern there might be a whole live bird jammed up in there, you're gonna do just fine.
ePlaya needs a 'like' button.
I second that motion. :D

User avatar
tatonka
Posts: 3238
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:28 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Rancho Deluxe
Location: oregon

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by tatonka » Wed Sep 21, 2016 5:54 pm

This offends me as a vegan transgender atheist who vapes and crossfits 4 times a week and im also a male feminist as I identify myself as a pastafarian apache helicopter dog mega multi combo god of hyper death and if you dont agree with me You're an ignorant arrogant globaphobic sexist lesbian
Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed by the masses.
-Plato

If a good man is offered power , he has to lower himself to pick it up .

User avatar
Aurelia
Posts: 2432
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:34 pm
Burning Since: 1986
Camp Name: the Love Camp
Location: San Fracisco, Bay Area

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by Aurelia » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:57 pm

:mrgreen:

Whew!
and here I am trying to simplify

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29215
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by ygmir » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:36 am

IMAG2974 (452x800).jpg
I've yet to find anyone not offended by my "crocs with socks"
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

User avatar
Bless
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:43 pm
Burning Since: 2012
Location: District of Columbia

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by Bless » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:24 am

I want to culturally appropriate her.
14192660_10153825226081931_8910840395303053135_n.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
FUCK YOU, I'M A WIZARD. FUCK YOU, I'M A SHARK.

User avatar
Aurelia
Posts: 2432
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:34 pm
Burning Since: 1986
Camp Name: the Love Camp
Location: San Fracisco, Bay Area

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by Aurelia » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:26 am

:mrgreen:
Yeah it Iggy is greeting us !

User avatar
lucky420
Posts: 8350
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:47 am
Burning Since: 2021
Camp Name: Dye with Dignity
Location: Reno, NV

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by lucky420 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:57 am

ygmir wrote:IMAG2974 (452x800).jpgI've yet to find anyone not offended by my "crocs with socks"

they highlight your calves quite well
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

User avatar
Doctor VonBacon
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:05 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Location: Somewhere in Time

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by Doctor VonBacon » Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:31 am

ygmir wrote:I've yet to find anyone not offended by my "crocs with socks"
"Crocks with socks" is not offensive. It is a wonder of engineering that provides warmth AND ventilation.
I believe it was created by the fine people at NASA.
I like eggs.

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29215
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by ygmir » Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:42 am

Doctor VonBacon wrote:
ygmir wrote:I've yet to find anyone not offended by my "crocs with socks"
"Crocks with socks" is not offensive. It is a wonder of engineering that provides warmth AND ventilation.
I believe it was created by the fine people at NASA.
you are genius!!
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

User avatar
global village idiot
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:35 pm
Burning Since: 2018

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by global village idiot » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:18 pm

2018 will be my first event. I just finished this entire discussion, which I'm glad took place over the course of several years.

My concern is somewhat different. Since it's my first event, I want to be a good guest.

I've read all about MOOP and how clothing can contribute to it. In this regard, what I planned on wearing and having with me is "clean" so far as MOOP goes. Despite having different premises, "Leave no Trace" and "being tactical" arrive at the same place physically.

I'll no longer be in the military, and I can wear whatever I please (no uniforms) which will be a relief. As such, I thought back to what I've worn in the desert previously, versus what I wish I could have worn in the desert. This formed the basis of what I intend to wear. Subject to change/amendment, it will look more-or-less like what this guy is wearing: (link), combined with eye pro, a shemagh/keffiyeh in a "non-afilliated" pattern and a Vietnamese "pith" helmet with puggaree (this last is the only appeal to vanity I feel comfortable making).

That outfit, minus the shemagh/pith helmet, is very similar to what I wear when I practice martial arts (tai chi). I find it comfortable, lightweight, the right color (mine are light grey) and appropriate for the environment. But while the outfit is fit for purpose, that's not enough to judge whether it's appropriate.

I've read the posts that essentially say "IDGAF/IDWIW" but these come from people who've attended many times - I take them at their word but I also suspect they may know things about the Burning Man culture they may just assume everyone else is aware of. I "don't know what I don't know," so I reckon I'd better ask than unknowingly give offense.

Thanks!
gvi

User avatar
some seeing eye
Posts: 2825
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:06 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Woo
Location: The Oregon

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:14 pm

Welcome to ePlaya, GVI!

Good preparing and researching in advance. ePlaya is a good resource.

In my opinion, the objection to cultural appropriation is only by a critical mass of people in that culture. Native American is the only objection I know. I often wear things in city life from other countries where I have worked and could have been killed. I don't bring them to the burn to lose because they are precious.

China now is fast culture and I've never heard of cultural appropriation concerns.

So you can wear and talk about your costume with meaning to people you meet at the event, which is the purpose of costumes - connecting conversation in person!
Last edited by some seeing eye on Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

User avatar
AntiM
Moderator
Posts: 19979
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:23 am
Burning Since: 2001
Camp Name: Anti M's Home for Wayward Art
Location: Wild, Wild West
Contact:

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by AntiM » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:30 pm

Dear Idiot, I think you're doing it right. Looks like a fine outfit to me.

My own personal favorite is an abaya, I also wear Mexican dresses and Hawaiian mumuus. All just fine. I wish we had out yukata out there this year, they would have been great camp wear in the hotter than usual heat.
larry's catch.jpg
P9010521 (2).jpg
091 - Copy.JPG
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5799
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2010
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by BBadger » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:58 pm

I think it comes down to this: if you can't specifically list why the imitation or use of artifacts associated with a particular culture is disrespectful or problematic, then there is really no problem with "appropriating" such things.

The act of borrowing, utilizing, or adapting innovations from other cultures or peoples is not a fundamentally egregious act. If you're re-purposing such things in a disrespectful manner, sure; however, if that is the case why not inform the person about their lack of awareness?
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
global village idiot
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:35 pm
Burning Since: 2018

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by global village idiot » Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:25 pm

BBadger, I appreciate your approach; being new, I'd prefer to err on the side of caution and take an active approach rather than a passive one.

An example from my history elsewhere may provide perspective. I'm a Freemason, and I don't think I'm giving away any state secrets when I tell you that one of the things we promise in our obligations is to not cheat, wrong or defraud a Brother Mason or a Lodge of Masons. This is a passive obligation - promising not to do something - but implicit in this statement is the active obligation to look after our Brothers' interests and welfare as we would our own.

In the same way, it seems more prudent to me, unfamiliar with the culture as I am, to see if what I'm up to is good-to-go, rather than bumble forward and figure if I'm wrong, someone will tell me. Recent history has shown that people generally won't; however, they WILL take plenty of pictures and blog about it afterward. Additionally, I ought to be able to explain why I'm doing this-or-that or wearing such-and-such, as opposed to the burden being on someone else to say why doing this-or-that or wearing such-and-such is disrespectful. In this way, I've satisfied both the passive and active aspects.

As to borrowing from other cultures, other people have figured things out, more-or-less as well as we have. It seems closed-minded to think that we have answers to every problem - for example, being comfortable in the desert. If another culture has a way of doing so, I'd say it's hardly disrespectful to acknowledge they have a good idea and use it.

As for the Chinese specifically, I'd argue (though I'd be willing to be proved wrong in this respect) that part of acknowledging a culture's contribution to the common stock of human knowledge also implies acknowledging that no culture is without errors and shortcomings of its own. Western civilization has got pretty good at pointing out our own warts, but we ought not to fall into the sin of self-loathing via thinking that anyone else is better or more virtuous than we are. The Chinese have a rich cultural history, but they're no saints.

Thanks so much for the feedback! Hopefully I'll be able to meet y'all next year :D

gvi

[edited to add] SSE, what do you mean by "China is fast culture"?

User avatar
Token
Posts: 4173
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:55 pm
Burning Since: 2001
Location: Gold Country, CA

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by Token » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:22 am

Oh my fucking Dog, not this tired thing.

It's burning man.

Do whatever the fuck you want. That's what is done there.

Wanna parade naked with your dick in a taco, done and done.

Wanna be a rabbi for a day - fucking far out.

Need to be Jesus on a cross for a day - there's a place for that too.

Wanna stick feathers in your bum and run like a chicken - the Playa is all yours.

Just be yourself and fuck the world.

User avatar
vargaso
Posts: 779
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:26 pm
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Suburbanoya
Location: Lincoln, CA

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by vargaso » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:58 am

Token wrote:Oh my fucking Dog, not this tired thing.

It's burning man.

Do whatever the fuck you want. That's what is done there.

Wanna parade naked with your dick in a taco, done and done.

Wanna be a rabbi for a day - fucking far out.

Need to be Jesus on a cross for a day - there's a place for that too.

Wanna stick feathers in your bum and run like a chicken - the Playa is all yours.

Just be yourself and fuck the world.
Bingo.

User avatar
Bless
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:43 pm
Burning Since: 2012
Location: District of Columbia

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by Bless » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:24 am

Token wrote:Oh my fucking Dog, not this tired thing.

It's burning man.

Do whatever the fuck you want. That's what is done there.

Wanna parade naked with your dick in a taco, done and done.

Wanna be a rabbi for a day - fucking far out.

Need to be Jesus on a cross for a day - there's a place for that too.

Wanna stick feathers in your bum and run like a chicken - the Playa is all yours.

Just be yourself and fuck the world.
Image
FUCK YOU, I'M A WIZARD. FUCK YOU, I'M A SHARK.

User avatar
GreyCoyote
Posts: 2138
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:24 am
Burning Since: 2000

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by GreyCoyote » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:18 pm

Token wrote: Wanna parade naked with your dick in a taco, done and done!
I was using zinc oxide, but now that you mention it, this would be a better sunblock and I wouldnt need to carry my lunch!

Genius! :)
"To sum up my compassion level, I think we should feed the unwanted animals to the homeless. Or visa versa. Too much attention and money is spent on both."
(A Beautiful Mind)

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29215
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by ygmir » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:33 am

Token wrote:Oh my fucking Dog, not this tired thing.

It's burning man.

Do whatever the fuck you want. That's what is done there.

Wanna parade naked with your dick in a taco, done and done.

Wanna be a rabbi for a day - fucking far out.

Need to be Jesus on a cross for a day - there's a place for that too.

Wanna stick feathers in your bum and run like a chicken - the Playa is all yours.

Just be yourself and fuck the world.
thanks Token. that's it!!!
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

User avatar
171/348
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:28 pm
Burning Since: 2012
Camp Name: Philly Shrine Jawn

Re: Cultural Appropriation and Burning Man

Post by 171/348 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:14 pm

GreyCoyote wrote:
Token wrote: Wanna parade naked with your dick in a taco, done and done!
I was using zinc oxide, but now that you mention it, this would be a better sunblock and I wouldnt need to carry my lunch!

Genius! :)
Until you see a stoned wook with the munchies running towards you yelling, "TACO!!!"

Post Reply

Return to “Clothing & Playawear”