October 19, 2023, 13:51

The conscious world supports us: Ukraine’s Burning Man team talks about the idea of this year’s art installation and feedback from participants

At this year’s Burning Man festival, the Ukrainian team presented The Hedgehog Temple, a hedgehog-shaped structure made of steel, wood, camouflage nets, and 100 anti-tank obstacles, known as ‘hedgehog’, which were exclusively made for the installation. Inside the “Temple of the Hedgehog,” the stories of fallen soldiers and cultural figures were placed.

The Ukrainian site attendees expressed their support for Ukraine. Yaroslav Korets, project’s artists, Head of Ukrainian Burners NGO, Leader of Kurenivka Camp at Burning Man, and Oleksandr Slobodianyk, Co-Creator of The Hedgehog Temple project, a volunteer helping the military made this statement during a discussion at the Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform. 

“Exactly a year ago, the project was at the idea stage. I applied for Burning Man in October. I wanted to bring something to make people burst out in tears understanding our pain. And so they did. A lot of people came, there were tens, hundreds, and thousands of them. Several thousand people came to The Hedgehog Temple during Burning Man and talked to our volunteers who were there, and most of the visitors there were crying,” said Yaroslav Korets.

In his turn, Oleksandr Slobodianyk noted that the volunteers who talked to each visitor of the Ukrainian installation, in particular, voiced two key messages about the war unleashed by Russia on the territory of Ukraine.

“Our volunteers were on duty 24/7 at our memorial, and we made a speech for every person who came by. It was different for each festival visitor, but the essence lay in two conveyed messages. The first one was that all that is happening in Ukraine is not a military conflict, it is a national war all Ukrainians are involved in: some on the front line, some in the rear, some in their thoughts, in any way. And the second message stated that we have no right, and we do not want to ‘freeze’ this war and leave it for our children to wage. At these words, I started to cry, everyone who listened to it started to cry. Usually, I am a fairly emotionally stable person, but I just cried all my tears in two days. Because people come, they fall at your feet, they apologize, they cry with you. These are hundreds, thousands of hugs that we experienced there,” he explained.

According to Slobodianyk, conscious people from all over the world showed their support for Ukraine. In turn, the Ukrainian burners realize that they have succeeded in reaching people’s hearts.

“To be honest, I did not expect such feedback and words of support from the conscious world. I was not only impressed, I was astonished ten times as much. It’s such a motivation for me that I am still excited to this day, and I will feel this way until the end of our project because it’s just incredible. The conscious world supports us. We have definitely reached the hearts of people,” he emphasized.

It should be noted that the Ukrainian Burning Man team, together with the Leleka Foundation, launched The Hedgehog Temple charity project in order to save Ukrainian soldiers and civilians from the deadliest hotspots in the combat zone. By engaging the international community, the team plans to raise one million dollars to buy more than 20 new Toyota vehicles that will help to save lives. 

The official website for collecting funds to purchase evacuation cars for the wounded is https://givebutter.com/hedgehogtemp

Read more: https://mediacenter.org.ua/news