Guiding Principle: Radical Self-Expression

Jan 16, 2023

Radical Self-Expression is one of the guiding principles that keeps people coming back to the Burn.

Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.”

So it’s to do with gifting, right? Sort of. Gifting is the starting point for a lot of Burners to find their feet on the winding path that is being a part of this community. 

Radical Self-Expression is the guiding principle that we all SEE when you look around a Burn. It manifests in the outfits, the activities and the friendliness that makes the Paddock the most amazing place to be!

In many ways, RSE is the easiest guiding principle to begin with. It’s about being yourself, which you’ve been doing for quite some time. But the difficulty lies in discovering yourself. Burns are a place where societal norms are subverted, often checked at the gate, only to be collected on your way home.

Radical Self-Expression is about discovering who you are without the pressures and impositions that the world puts upon us. Communicating with that genuine, authentic part of yourself can be a real challenge. It isn’t always pleasant. But the catharsis of some unbridled self expression, whether it be through arts and crafts, or dressing outrageously, or even a foray to one of the kinkier theme camps, is often the highlight of many people’s Burn experiences. 

So whether you’re a fresh-faced Birgin, or a seasoned veteran, bring yourself, all of yourself, to the Paddock this year!

This principle comes with a caveat. Your journey is your own, and your self-expression is a part of that journey: however remember that you are one individual amongst hundreds. You can express yourself however you wish, but it doesn’t mean that everyone is obligated to love your 4am yodelling contest. Radical Self-expression is tempered by Civic Responsibility, always.

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