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WANTED: 2iC PEER For When the Going Gets TOUGH!

NOT APPROVEDfor P.E.E.R. Rangers

Sorry Billy! You may have a voice like satin but you’re not approved for PEER Rangers…

by Koi and Alicia

OK… so the whole Billy Ocean thing was kind of a ruse…

Are you professionally trained in psychology, social work, counselling, psychiatric nursing or other similar feel -good-helper-type roles? Do you have experience in managing acute psychological issues? Do you have professional training or experience in responding to assaults? Would you consider gifting some of your sweet time and knowledge year round to help Seed happen? Then read on… (NB there’s a special treat later for those of you reading who don’t have the above skills…)

PEER Rangers
Burning Seed is generally a happy, joyful and wonderfully fulfilling experience for participants. However there are times when things don’t go so well for individuals – at Seed we’re serious about making sure participants have access to vital psychological and/or emotional support when they need it.

In 2015 Seed established a specialised crew of Rangers – Psychological and Emotional Emergency Response (P.E.E.R.) Rangers –  to provide support at times when really tough stuff happens at Seed that may be difficult for participants to process. “Really tough” could include: acute mental health crises, sexual non-consent matters and relationship violence. This critical team now needs a second-in-charge (2iC) – could that be YOU!?

What’s involved?
As 2iC PEER Rangers you’ll get to:

  • help recruit, select and train PEER Rangers;
  • contribute to essential admin & work with sweet organisers behind the scenes, and;
  • be a go-to leaderly type person available to work shifts during Seed and respond to incidents if they arise.

If you think you could help and want to get involved contact the Crew Wranglers ASAP at jointhecrew@burningseed.com for more information and for a copy of the role description!

That Special Treat We Mentioned… here’s that satin-voiced R&B legend in all his 80s glory:  Enjoy!

For those still reading, we have HEAPS OF ROLES to fill at Burning Seed requiring very sweet skills like yours! Check out the roles available and see where you might fit –  add some more ‘immediacy’, ‘communal effort’ and ‘participation’ into your Seed! If compassion for your fellow Burners has brought you this far but you don’t have the professional experience we need for the PEER role, we have plenty of opportunities available for supportive souls like you.

For example, Red Earth Rangers actively support community well-being and safety, for instance as first responders to emergencies, and as community mediators. Rangers come from all walks of life, and with a bit of training (which we provide) nearly anyone can be a Ranger, whatever your level of work of life experience!!

But if you’re a good fit for the PEER 2iC, and feel like you might have what it takes, please get in touch and help us all Burn Bright and not Burn Out in 2016!

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The Ten Principles… for Dummies

by Havoc

I lost my burginity in 2014, turning up to Burning Seed ImagiNation with so much crap it took two trips from Sydney to fit my kid in. I didn’t know anybody and my little girl had no idea that her mum was a dooflord in the olden days. I had never put up a pup-tent let alone the eight-man monster I now call the Taj Mahal, which was to be our home in unknown territory for the next week.

10 principlesI discovered Burning Seed while “researching” how to do Burning Man. I noticed the ‘regional’ tab and thought “maybe there’s a burn in Asia…wait, what? Burning Seed in Wagga Wagga?!“.

There’s nothing really that can prepare you for the experience of a Burn, you have to just brace yourself and get in it. But we’ve all been there. We’ve all been first timers. We’ve all been Burner Virgins or ‘Burgins’ and the majority of participants are prepared to help each of you through this experience.

So you may hear a lot of arguments about Burns not being festivals or doofs. They are “events”, “gatherings”, “celebrations” and the words used by some cause a great deal of consternation to others at times. The truth is they are all of those things depending on your own perception and more importantly what you make of it.

So what differentiates Burning Seed from a vapid party tribe at a commercial festival (and you are allowed to do that in your spare time too by the way)? The Burning Man project, of which Burning Seed is officially a part, is based on some key values known as “the Ten Principles of Burning Man” – Go ahead and take a look but don’t be gone too long now!

When you are new, the online chatter around a Burn can be bewildering. The information available on the website is brilliant but it is all created by volunteers, and it is always a work in progress. If you are at least mindful of the Ten Principles, everything goes chaotically smoothly or it also doesn’t. It will be more fun than you can conjure by yourself and believe it or not you might even grow as a person.

At AfrikaBurn and other regionals around the world an “11th Principle” is making the rounds – Each One, Teach One. In the spirit of EOTO, I present to you my “Ten Principles for Dummies”. Nobody does this the same way and few practice it perfectly. All of this is corruptible, corrupted and ultimately meaningless in the best possible way. The Principles are the recipe and we all add our own spice….



THE TEN PRINCIPLES: FOR DUMMIES

1. Wear What Makes You Happy 
If you want to be a fish, a robot, a dressage champion or a human that is entirely OK with almost everyone. If and when someone calls you out for some random faux-pas only they understand, all you need to do is listen to their point of view and change your behaviour if they have moved you to do so or carry on as you see fit.  Similarly with your words, you can say whatever you want but that doesn’t mean the community will take your crap. The scum always rises to the top to be skimmed off…well no, that didn’t come out right at all…see how easy it is? NEXT!
2. Don’t Sell Shit To Other Burners.
Unless someone consents to being sold shit in places like Burner Classifieds or down a dark alley, leave your business cards at home. Yes money is a reality, and yes you need resources to burn bright but do not spruik, sell or buy at a Burn or on Burner forums or stolen email lists from fundraisers (this includes drugs, parties, sunglasses, shamanic actualization. The only exception is ice…made from water).
3. Paddle Your Own Canoe
Don’t be a Drainbow. The community functions best when nobody has to waste valuable love/art-making/dancing/learning/cuddling/slapshotting time getting other people’s shit together. Conditions can be really difficult at times so prepare well to joyfully participate in the miseries of Burning.
4. Muck In
If something needs doing, do it. If you can’t do it alone find other do-ers to help and amazing things happen. Do not place orders for your dreams to come true.
5. You Are a Citizen (be a good one)
Don’t believe the titles, nobody is your boss here. You and you alone are responsible for your actions and their impact on your community.
6. No One Gets Left Out
….(but that doesn’t mean everyone is going to like you)
7. Muck Out
Do not leave anything you brought with you behind, with the exception of the things you silently and respectfully release in the Temple.
8. The Power of Now
The days go by fast and they are never repeated. Don’t hesitate.
9. Get Amongst It
…but if someone else is part of your cunning plan, ask them first.
10. Plan to Give More Than You Decide to Take.

 


So now you know the Ten Principles (for Dummies). If you need to do this one more time…print it, record it or whack it on a T-shirt. Most of all take this lesson to heart. The Principles are the light that gets through the cracks, the cracked, and the crackpots alike and which makes even the dim ones shine.

With love from Havoc… “Magis Chaos. Narratio Glorificata.”

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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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Consent wristbands: shorthand for no pics or flicks

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]W[/bra_dropcaps]e’re introducing optional consent wristbands to help participants and photographers/filmmakers alike navigate the sometimes tricky task of seeking and giving consent around photographs and videos at Burning Seed.

Wanna just let it all hang out — literally, figuratively, hell any way you want at the Burn? Don’t want to worry about being photographed or having to police whether someone is snapping you without having that all-important “ is it OK” conversation? Are you just having one of those days when you don’t want to be the object of somebody else’s art?

Or are you a photographer, filmmaker or videographer who scratches their head over this whole asking-consent-questions stuff ‘cause the magic is in the moment of capturing that shot?

The consent bracelets are designed to help all of you. These are brightly coloured, removable silicon wristbands with “NO PHOTOS OR VIDEOS” written on them. They will allow participants to easily signal when they don’t want to be captured on film, and it will give photographers, filmmakers and videographers a clearer sign of whether someone definitely doesn’t want to be photographed or filmed. #respecttheband

But that doesn’t mean we want you stop talking to each other either.

We still encourage you all to have that consent conversation wherever possible (before or after the pic) — especially if someone is not wearing a bracelet and in the middle of a private moment, exposed and/or vulnerable position, naked or any other situation that may require checking in.

A consent bracelet is an automatic red light to not photograph or film the person in question. But a blank wrist is not an automatic green light to film or photograph: check in whenever possible.

Wristbands will be available at the event entrance and also at Red Earth Info.