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Art and times of Burning Seed 2015

ARTery has its finger on Burning Seed’s art pulse, and this year they’ve been working hard with all you amazingly talented, creative and crazy people to paint our Red Earth City… well… red. So expect to wrap your senses around some fantastic art on the Paddock this year. There’s also an Art Parade in store, an art/media centre to explore and the chance to register more art.

Written by Stephanie Selig

Art Grants
Art on the Paddock

Art on the Paddock

We’re pleased to announce that we have funded a total of 24 projects this year in addition to the Effigy and the Temple! We had some amazing submissions this year and wish we could have supported more, but we’re working with limited funds.

What we clearly do have in abundance is a community with unlimited talent, energy and creativity. Right now there is a lot of building going on in backyards, supplies being ordered and other general arty awesomeness.

Please join our NEW Facebook Page  because we’ll be posting details about some of the projects over the few weeks to get you excited about what’s coming to the Paddock.

Bringing Art?

If you’re bringing art and planning to put up an installation at Burning Seed, we want to hear about it! It doesn’t matter if your piece is big or small — if it’s on the open paddock and not in a Theme Camp please make sure you register with the ARTery to get your spot on the map.

You only have a few days to do this — 31 August is the deadline. You can register here.  All art pieces must have a Leave No Trace plan, be well lit at night (even if it’s small please light it for safety so things don’t go bump) and if fire is involved you absolutely need approval from the Fire Art Response Team (fart@burningseed.com). If you have any questions, please email us at artery@burningseed.com.

Artedia Space & Art Parade
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Get your wriggle on for the Artery Parade on Friday

This year the ARTery will share a new space with the Media team: we’re calling Artedia (get it?). ARTery crew will be at Artedia from 11am to 3pm Wed to Sat during the event to answer any questions and to register your project. Drop by anytime (even after hours) to see our new large art map and read up on the installations around the Paddock.

On Friday night we’re hosting an Art Parade from 4-5pm. Join us for a walking art tour and learn about many of the pieces that have been created for your delight — costumes are highly encouraged!

You can find full details here . While you’re at it please like our new NEW Facebook Page and stay in touch with all things ART at Seed.

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Inside scoop on MOOP

Written by MoopDaddy

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Mr Pineapple and his MOOPy escapades after last year’s Burning Seed.

So you think you know your MOOP, huh? Well, after last year’s sweeps of the Burning Seed site, we have some news for you.

Just because those mandarin peels and fire ash are biodegradable doesn’t mean you can throw them on the ground. And yep, plants need water, but that doesn’t mean you can tip out any liquid you like. And while your shit don’t stink, that doesn’t mean you can take a dump in the woods.

Here’s why…

We asked Steve at NSW State Forestry to provide us with best-practice guidelines on all of these issues and this is what he told us.

The habitat at Matong State Forest is a semi-arid, low-nutrient type. This means the local plants have adapted to thrive in this half-barren environment. When extra nutrients are added to the soil, weeds take over and choke out the indigenous plant life. This in turn affects the indigenous insects, birds, lizards and other animals.

So whether you bury it or not, any food waste or compostable material is MOOP — and so is fire ash. The high concentration of potassium in wood ash is perfect fertiliser for flowering weeds. They love the stuff. So if you bring it or burn it at Burning Seed, you must take it with you when you leave.

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Use phosphate-free soap and shampoo in your showers.

Grey water can also create the same problems as food waste. If you tip out washing water that has detergent in it, the phosphate in most commercial soaps feeds the hungry weeds.

Steve advises that we can allow 10 litres per person per day run off, as long as the soap we use is phosphate-free.

Phosphate-free soap includes any castille soap or “camping soap” from an outdoor store, which you can use to wash pots, pans, pants and people. Just ensure the water doesn’t run off where people are walking or driving to avoid a mucky mess.

But it’s no go with the poop. Poop is MOOP! You’re not doing the local plants any favours by burying your excrement in the woods. 

The weeds will be the ones loving your brown stuff. And so will the flies who will find it, breed and be there to greet us again next year at the same time, rubbing their front legs together gleefully. So use the porta potties — that’s what they are there for, and take the rest of the MOOP with you when you go!

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Sex and our city — discover the key to all our needs

At Burning Seed, we’re super keen to build a space where people can create, explore, discover, connect, transform and express themselves as openly, safely and respectfully as they can — whenever, wherever and with whomever they choose. And that means sex too.

Yep, we’re gonna talk about sex and the big C.

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Say cheeeeeeese – body banquets at Burning Seed 2014.

Why? Because consent is the key to creating a space for both no and yes..yes…oh god, YES! And in this petri-dish of possibility called Seed, that means evvvvvvvvvvverrrrbody gets what they want or need — commonly known as a win-win-win-win-win-win-win situation.

To understand consent’s winsome ways, I hit Rog up for some of his wise words. Say hello to Rog. “Hello Rog!”

Rog is a manager of a Melbourne sex-positive workshop venue, professional counsellor, co-founder of the peace-keeping initiative, ‘Pt’chang’,  at Confest, and one of the people helping to serve up the fantastic body banquets at Burning Seed last year. (Now THAT was a cheese and fruit platter!)

I chinwagged with him about consent’s ambidextrous role; its importance for Seed as the new kid on the experimental block; the dangers of focusing on the fear factor; and what Seed can learn from the sex positive community.

According to Rog, consent is the ultimate multi-tasker. “On the one hand, consent is a safety, protection mechanism, and on the other hand, consent is an enhancement, expansion tool.”

And these tools are crucial to the development and evolution of Burning Seed as an experimental space.

“Consent as a safety, protection mechanism is crucial because Seed creates an environment of freedom and opportunity where people are exploring themselves, willing to take risks and go over their edges,” Rog says.

“However, it all happens in the broader context of our larger culture. All of the difficult and challenging behaviours around sex are still at play. So what you wind up with potentially is people with their guard down but still in a risky cultural context.”

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Up close and personal. Photo by Shaan Ali

But according to Rog, consent is also essential for the transformational possibilities of sex and the Red Earth City.

“There are a lot of people ready to have new experiences and learn new things about themselves,  and one of the things people look for are more sexual experiences,” says Rog. “In terms of getting what you want, becoming empowered and having some really interesting experiences, there is an opportunity to say, ‘well here’s an amazing tool that will take you to some amazing spots’.”

What makes it such an amazing tool? Well, basically Elvis got it wrong. A little less conversation, a little more action? Pfft! More like: a little more conversation, a lot more action.

“There is a model out there that says we should magically know how to touch each other and magically progress in a direction that is good for us. I think that works for a small percentage of people a small percentage of the time. For the rest of us, we benefit a lot from a bit of dialogue and communication about how we like to be touched or what we’re looking for or how far we would like things to go,” says Rog.

“So when you start to do it like that, you start to get into the detail about what you’re after, and you very quickly arrive at something which is far far better than what would have happened if you had just turned off the lights and hoped for the best.”

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Best cuddle EVA. Photo by Shaan Ali

According to Rog, the consent conversation between individuals, and within the broader community, can help lay the breadcrumbs for people to find their way out of the dark, and discover a more enhanced sex life and relationship life.

Unfortunately, our community conversations often place too much emphasis on protection over empowerment and passion. And if you’ve spent any time on social media lately, it can sometimes seem as if there is a potential predator on every Seed corner and we need to wo-man the ramparts against the baying hounds. Winter is coming. Winter is coming!

What’s the problem with framing consent just in terms of protection, and particularly protection of women?

“I think sometimes we can get so caught up in all the things that are wrong about sex that we start to become sex negative. You can develop a dynamic where people are so scared of violating each other, even though they have the best of intention, that the place becomes a battleground rather than playground,” says Rog.

“Obviously, the ‘no’ or ‘don’t’ message is crucial, but if we don’t also use our ‘yes’ and ‘please do this’ messages, then things don’t really improve.”

And it doesn’t do women any favours either.

“There’s a tendency to not trust that women are powerful, empowered people. And when we constantly look at how the situation negatively impacts women, we’re not giving a lot of credit or seeing their power,” he says.

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Temple of Surrender at Seed 2012. Photo by Onur Ka

So with sex on the Seed agenda and the need to both empower and protect, where can we look for inspiration and role models?

One of answers: the sex positive community and, in particular, the kink community — whether you like to walk on the wild side or prefer your vanilla with only a little extra sprinkle on top.

“The sex positive community, and in particular the kink community, have done incredibly good work on how to put these ideas into practice. The reason being that when you get into more nuanced and specialised areas of sex play, you can’t just dive into an activity and hope for the best.  Safety mechanisms need to be much more elaborate sometimes,” says Rog.

“These communities are also a shining example of how to use basic consent tools to take you to an amazing level of complexity. The self-expression within the sex positive and kink community can be profound – miles away from the norm. And that’s basically thanks to these consent tools.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Centre camp: the gift that keeps on giving

Written by Antonia Everson

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Centre Camp to the rescue – Swing Dogs Theme Camp finds a new home for the night after winds destroy their tent.

I’m sure you’ll agree the most joyous of the ten principles to practice is GIFTING   Well, did you also know that Centre Camp is a gift to YOU?

Centre Camp is built by the people, for the people, and it’s a place where anything can happen at anytime. One of

Centre Camp’s finest moment was in 2013 when it came to the aid of Swing Dog Circus Theme Camp who were able to host their opening night party in this communal camp after losing their own camp to galeforce winds.

For the last few years, we’ve also had a talented artist, Scar Keller, toil to bring this community a bigger and better space where we can co-create anything and everything our hearts desire.

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Ro, Naomi, Scar and Terry working on decorative elements for Red Earth Info at Centre Camp

Scar is passionate about the principle of COLLABORATION and has put her heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into designing an awesome space for our community to gather and share inspiration and innovation. (And that’s why we call it Centre Camp  — together with the fact that you’ll find it in the centre of Red Earth City!).

For most of the year she is wielding power tools and cycling across Melbourne rain, hail or shine to build you and me a space to play in. During Seed you’ll find her building even more awesome shit and leaving Centre Camp to the Guardians to play

Excited? Intrigued? Wanna gift your creative hands and minds and contribute to Centre Camp 2015? Whether it’s a talk, live music, workshops or art, we’d love to help shine a light on your gift and share it with our community. Get your creative ideas flowing in to Centre Camp crew via our registration form.

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Tier two and passouts — tickets to ride and radically survive

icon_ticketHot tamales! Tier One tickets flew out the door at an unprecedented rate, which means two things: the wondrous word of Seed is spreading and we need to —* intake of breath* —  cap Tier Two tickets.

We love us some techy talk here at Seed, and modelling has helped us track ticket-sale patterns and make predictions over the previous years. But there are the times that the best-laid techy talk is still foiled by spontaneous community combustion.

So, Tier Two Tickets ($145) are now be capped at 850, and we will move into Tier Three tickets ($165) as soon as we sell out or the date listed on ticketing page — whichever comes first.

And while we’re talking tickets, there are few other important things to remember about this year:

  • Kids tickets are only sold online this year
  • There are no gate sales.
  • Your ID will need to match your ticket when you show it at the gate. If somebody else has purchased the ticket, then you need to be able to show a photocopy of that ID along with your ticket.

icon_openIcon_in-outBut you don’t just need your ticket to ride this great Burning Seed train, there are also passouts this year. These are $20 per vehicle and can be organised at the Gate. Locals and people in key organising roles will be exempt with pre-registration.

The passout was introduced this year because too many people were regularly leaving the site last year.

This not only created more work and traffic for the gate crew to manage but undermined the radical self-reliance principle. This would have been an even bigger problem this year given the substantial increase in participants.

So dare to get your radical self-reliance principle on with good preparation, and immerse yourself in the Red Earth City bubble for the week.

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Flame effects — it’s a gas, gas, gas

flameThe artistic evolution of our community means that the first pilot light of flame-effect artworks seen on the Paddock last year has turned into a veritable roar of creative fire for this year’s event.

And while we all love to joke about safety third in the Burner community, when it comes to playing with fire on the Paddock we bump safety up to pole position to ensure we take care of our temporary home on the Paddock, the more permanent home of our neighbours and our community. Third-degree burns ain’t no barrel of laughs.

So if you are planning to incorporate flame effects into your art, mutant vehicle/art car or Theme Camp, you need to register with our fabulously fresh on the block — though perhaps not in name —  Fire Art Response Team (FART). Registration closes 1 September 2015.

FireartBut what exactly do we mean by flame effects? Flame Effects are devices that use pressurized LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) gas to make visible fire, either in the form of gentle flames in a table or fire pit (AKA Static Effects), or big bursts in a “poofer” style effect (AKA Dynamic Effects).

All flame effect devices will have to be a certified gas appliance. A member of FART will need to inspect the device and issue a burn permit.

To register, email fart@burningseed.com and our teamsters will send you a burn permit application form, infopack and compliance guidelines. Once you’re on site, you will be required to pass a compliance assessment before being issued with your burn permit.

Want to know about other firey features at Seed? Go here for more information on burn barrels, art Burns, camping stoves and fire twirling.

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Join your PEERs and support our community on the Paddock

 

This year, we will see a new breed of Rangers at Red Earth City. The P.E.E.R. Rangers are Psychological & Emotional Emergency Response (P.E.E.R.) Rangers. They will be identified by a purple-coloured arm band as well as the usual orange Ranger CostuForm. 

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PEER Rangers will provide support on the Paddock for participants who are having an emotional, mental or psychological crisis that goes beyond the capacity of their local Burner community and Red Earth City Rangers to manage, but that does not yet need medical services.

They will provide immediate emotional, psychological and peer support to participants of all ages, who may require a safe space to process their experiences and to regain a more balanced outlook.

This may involve attending to someone who is experiencing an intense emotional response resulting from:

  • a violation of their personal space
  • altered states of consciousness
  • interpersonal issues.

This role has been developed to better deal with consent and psychological issues after some people experienced these at last year’s event.

Knowledge and experience

 The PEER Rangers will undergo some specialist training as well as the usual Red Earth City Ranger training throughout the year and leading up to the event.

Ideal Community Crew will have previous medical, mental health, and/or psychological counselling experience (eg. psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists) or harm reduction. We are also looking for individuals who have broader qualifications or experience in telephone crisis lines, life coaching, peer education, foreign aid, health or emergency services.

This list is not exhaustive and all of these skills are not mandatory. If you believe that you have valuable skills and experience that are not listed here, please get in touch with the REC Rangers via the Facebook Page to discuss your suitability.

To sign up, rock on over here.

 

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Fundercats are go!

Theme Camps are BRILLIANT! Let’s just agree to agree on that one. But have you spared a thought for the phenomenal work that goes into making these dreams (and nightmares) real for you at Seed? Fundraising is a massive part of it, and fundraising season is hot to trot as we get closer to the real business of Burning Seed.

Galah went behind the scenes with three of Seed’s Theme Camps — Swing Dog Circus, Kamp Kraken and the Dirty Birds — to find out what it really takes to create so much awesome and put the FUN in FUNdraising! Yeah! So corny right?!

Swing Doggies

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Swing Dog Circus’s fundraiser earlier this year

Most Theme Camps start pretty small – groups of friends become groups of groups of friends and before anyone realises HOLD ON THIS IS MASSIVE, HOW DID IT GET THIS EFFING BIG?

For instance, the now 40-50 strong uber-collective Swing Dog Circus began around four years ago when two groups of couch-surfers found each other at Seed.

CK Vibes, one of the now 15 core SDC crew, says she and a few mates from Sydney found themselves camped next to Monkey and a few of his mates from Adelaide way back then.

“We just ended up hanging out during that whole week at Seed and realised that there was more we wanted to do together — Monkey and his electro swing shenanigans, and me and my mates from Sydney on the circus stuff. So we made a plan to come back the following year and Swing Dog Circus was born.”

While talent and chutzpah will get you so far, it takes more to make a Theme Camp hum — as much as we may not like to admit it, money does help when it comes to some of the barer essentials.

“Swing Dog Circus did a fundraiser on Pozible in 2013, but we didn’t go crazy — we kept our goal achievable, just $1000 and we made it, just for some of the basic kit we needed for camp infrastructure,” says CK. “We wanted to go a bit better in 2014 so upped the goal to $1500 that year and again we made that too.”

Kakaw!!! KaKAW!!

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Dirty Bird’s Jeremy – with CK as supporting cast.

Timing is important: Dirty Birds’ Jeremy and Leanna say organising for Seed is a year-round gig, and fundraising plays a critical role in the planning.

“Mamma bird says always remember to start your burn prep early, cause nothing sucks like trying to build that whizzmatron thingy idea you had for the burn, in the last goddamn week!” says Jeremy.

“Having our Dirty Birds scattered from Newcastle to Wagga to Melbourne takes some organization. We have a kick ass crew that gets together regularly to make sure the planets align.”

 

Release the Kraken

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The god’s must be crazy – Phoebe, Nat and Manos at one of Kraken’s first big fundraisers.

“All theme camps do it differently,” says Phoebe from Kamp Kraken. “But everyone has to fundraise in the lead-up to Seed in order to build infrastructure and enable creative ideas to come into being.”

Like the Doggies and the Birds, Kraken has evolved over the years from a small group of mates who went to Rainbow, to a 60-person strong theme camp that attends several festivals annually.

“We are a collection of eccentrics, creatives, misfits & lost souls,” says Phoebe. “Like the Burner community at large, Kamp Kraken is full of smart, creative, generous-hearted people. So many people contribute their skills and energy to Kraken in the lead-up to Seed, which is good because there is a sh*tload to do!”

“Kamp Kraken has definitely grown a few more tentacles lately. As our dreams and creative ideas have expanded, so has our capacity to deliver on those dreams. I think we are getting a bit more efficient each year. We have crew meetings every couple of months, and we split into teams to get things done. We can’t wait to unleash this year’s host of ideas onto the paddock!”

Party time!!

All three Theme Camps have now graduated to the next level of FUNderaising, with all three KICKING ASS with some of the best party fundraisers seen anywhere on this planet or the next.

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All white on the night – Dirty Birds draws a crowd.

“It’s lots more work, of course,” says Swing Dog’s CK. “Party fundraisers take a lot more planning — getting a location, finding licenced security, working out the decor, setting up a ticketed event, sorting out payments and budgets, logistics of set-up and pack day, organising performers and DJs, food plus drinks etc.”

The trick is to stay focused on what makes your Camp special. “Let it grow organically, also think about why you’re doing it. It really is like organising a mini theme camp for the night,” CK says.

 

Dirty Birds agree. “Choose a theme or gift and stick to it. Focus your energy on making one or two gifts great. Give generously and let your freak flag fly high!”

And Phoebe of Kraken says “When you are starting out it makes sense to take one or two things and do them really well, rather than trying to do too many things half-arsedly. Also check the Seed and Theme Camp facebook pages to get a sense of what people are doing in the lead up to Seed – you’ll always find support. Burners love helping newbies!”

These party fundraisers are also seeing increasing cross-camp burner participation, with Dirty Birds slapshots showing up at Swing Dog’s party, the Orphanage showing up at Dirty Birds and Onur’s Bacon Emporium showing up everywhere! Middle Eastern Mafia and Kraken both have fundraisers coming up this month so get along and show your support!

SOME TOP TIPS FOR FUNDRAISING

  • Have a good base structure and a do-ocracy — ideas need action
  • Reliable crew is fundamental!
  • Find your niche — do what you wanna, ride with it and watch it grow
  • Never think you can’t do it — you can!
  • Check when other theme camps in your city are fundraising before setting your date to avoid event clashes
  • Get a stellar team of people together to put the event on! Many hands…
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Driving miss crazy — Mutant Vehicle applications now open

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The Coco Poco Loco Mutant Vehicle at Burning Seed 2014. Photo by Randy Brophy

As Red Earth City has grown, so has the desire for driving miss crazy and Mutant Vehicles around the Paddock.

To ensure that we support the evolution of this creative colour while maintaining the safety of our community and the event itself, we have created a Red Earth Department of Mutant Vehicles — say howdy do — and introduced a registration process.

If you are planning on bringing a Mutant Vehicle to Burning Seed this year and it’s over 250 kilograms, you need to apply for a licence before September 1.

Contact redmv@burningseed.com, and they will send you the relevant terms & conditions, documentation and procedures, and review your application.

If you’re bringing a Mutant Vehicle under 250 kilograms, you also need to email redmv@burningseed.com for conditions. Please note: Submitting an application will NOT automatically mean you can bring your Mutant Vehicle to Burning Seed.

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Mutant Vehicles come in all shapes and sizes.

What is a mutant vehicle you ask?

Mutant Vehicles may include such non-standard motorised forms such as furniture, other non-street vehicles such as a boat or train, animals, or just about anything imaginable. For safety reasons, they must not mimic any type of emergency service or law enforcement vehicle.

A Mutant Vehicle is a unique, motorised creation that shows little or no resemblance to their original form, or to any standard street vehicle. Mutant Vehicles are radically, stunningly, (usually) permanently, and safely modified from their base vehicle. Sometimes the whole vehicle is made from scratch.

Vehicles merely stripped to the frame and engine, and vehicles with minimal changes or temporary decorations are not considered Mutant Vehicles.

 

 

 

 

 

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Merri Creek meets its match while Sydney calls last straw

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]B[/bra_dropcaps]urners donned their flamboyant finest and kicked some trash-ass at Melbourne’s Merri Creek on May 9 as Kamp Kraken led another initiative to move Burner life beyond the Paddock.

Around 60 people donned gloves, gumboots and garbage bag and rocked up throughout the afternoon to wade through the muck of Merri Creek and remove rubbish. Wheeliebin beats (thanks BBB!) and tea and bicki treats fuelled the intrepid trash troops.

And the strangest thing found? A case half full of sweet potatoes and the desiccated body of a fox. Awards were given for the weirdest finds and best costumes, but the biggest reward was a satisfying 45 big bags of rubbish, 15 bags of recyclables and assorted hard rubbish collected. 

There are plans to make Merri again, so stay in the loop by liking the Kamp Kraken page.

Meanwhile, Sydney’s Beneficient Burners Beneficent Burners are currently looking for volunteers to help get cafes and pubs involved with Plastic Free July.

They’re encouraging cafes to give a discount to people who bring a reusable coffee cup, and for pubs to only hand out straws when they are specifically requested.

If you’d like to ask your local café, or take on a whole street, contact Shelby Ann to get hold of some posters. They also have a script for what to say when approaching the cafe and pubs.

For more info, contact Shelby Ann chinochai@gmail.com  or join the Beneficent Burners’ Facebook group.