Burners of Fuego Austral, Argentina's Burning Man Regional EventArticle by: Tinka Kalajzic
Wed April 04, 2018 | 13:05 PM
“The real Man is way much bigger than this one…"
“At the real Burning Man festival there are thousands of interactive art sculptures, and here… Let me see…”
”The real Burning Man is so huge you can get lost several times per day…”
”I thought there would be more fire performers here because at the real Burning Man there are fire performers from aaaall over the world!!!”
If you come to a Burning Man regional event with this kind of attitude, you likely won’t have a lot of fun. The only thing you’ll achieve with your comparisons is annoying everyone who hasn’t yet had a chance to experience the magic of Black Rock City. Thankfully for those who haven't made the trek to the Nevada desert, Burning Man regionals are organized in cities around the world to help local burners connect with one another while bringing Burning Man's principles and culture into their local communities.
Fuego Austral is one such event, and the first official regional event in Latin América. Three years in, it attracted around 450 burners. The organizational team had quite a bit of trouble with last year's event, during which there was a huge flood that affected the overall atmosphere of the event. However, these Argentinian burners didn’t get discouraged – they simply put even more effort and energy into this year's event, creating a space where self-expression through performances, art and community is highly encouraged.
If you were to ask a tourist to name three things that define Argentina, they'd probably say: mate, asado (barbecue), and tango. While there was a dearth of tango at Fuego Austral, mate, the traditional South American beverage, played a huge role in connecting everyone first thing in the morning. “Can I use your fire to warm up some water for mate?”…”Stop by and visit us in our camp! Matecito time!” It's a beautiful Argentinian ritual that even inspired a huge wooden sculpture of a mate cup. Of course, in true Burning Man style, they razed it in the end and used the leftover flames to prepare asado – a traditional Argentinian barbecue – for everyone.
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