Burning Progeny: The European Efflorescence of Burning Man is a study of the European adaptation of Burning Man, a unique event that has evolved from a festival held annually in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, into a transnational movement with a regional presence in over 30 countries. Via a four-year collaborative multisited ethnography, the project will chart the translation of Burning Man's Ten Principles in regional events in Europe, providing the first extensive study of this self-organising event-centered movement.
The project team, comprised of Assoc Prof François Gauthier, Dr Graham St John, and Dr Botond Vitos, employs mixed ethnographic methods, including semi-directed interviews and multisited fieldwork.
Governed by a cooperative, self-organising ethos, Burning Man is the world's largest temporary city. Over three decades, spearheaded by the Burning Man Project, the event has transformed from a remote art festival into a global movement. Through the practices of artists, designers, computer engineers, spiritual entrepreneurs and others within a transnational diaspora, the event's ethos has been transposed to over 65 Regional Events in more than 30 countries, with Europe the strongest growth region outside North America. As the first study of the proliferation of "burner" culture, the project will be pivotal to the formation of an event-culture research network in which UNI Fribourg will play a key role.
The project is expected to produce a book entitled Burning Progeny and a symposium to be held at UNI Fribourg over Nov 29-30 2018.