Which is more meaningful: a hand-carved pendant imbued with its creator’s intent or a blinky trinket that will ultimately end up in a landfill? How about a camp sign made by your mates from recycled materials or a plaque ordered with two clicks late one night all by your lonesome? What about an old coat you dolled up with faux fur and embroidery, or a mass produced… yawn… what were we saying again?
Oh yeah. There’s a secondary theme we’d like you to consider this year (and come to think of it every year ever after). It’s called “Playa Made” — or #PlayaMade in social media parlance — and it’s a simple idea with mighty consequences. It means don’t buy new stuff just because you can and because it’s easy. It is bad for the earth, degrades our culture, and it’s just plain boring.
“Playa Made” means putting your wallet away and looking at what’s already around you. It means getting creative, crafty, and resourceful. It’s realizing that, together, we are creating experiences that can’t be bought, and the experience of Burning Man is all of it, from the outsized majesty of the art right down to the tiniest dangly earring gifted by a new friend.
When we make instead of buy, transactions become intentions, and consumption becomes creation. Many of you are already in this frame of mind, but it’s time to remind the whole community why this is important. We stand ready to resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experiences and to protect our culture from the commercialism that besieges us in the default world.
Check out our Instagram feed to see the latest in #PlayaMade.
What happens when people stop thinking about money and start creating?
We can’t wait to find out. Make…for the Playa. #PlayaMade. Get it?
Top photo: Headpiece by Siberfi, photo by Scott London