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Freedom Lab Television spent 10 days in Black Rock City, Nevada, covering the Burning Man Festival, a ritualistic annual gathering of 60,000 revelers and anarchists who celebrate the beauty of radical Self-Expression, Freedom, Music and Art.
Freedom Lab was at The Burn. Through daily dust storms on the Playa – the playground where art is built and burnt, music is made and played and no-one really sleeps for too long. Behind and around the seat of our loved-up LED Art Car made from slashed tyres and scrap-metal iron………high as a kite, sober as a racehorse, fire-breathing to the extreme. The Playa always beckons and seduces us to forget what we are really there for. Lose track of time, why not.
Don’t make any plans. They won’t be kept. Our video camera lenses were loved, caressed and wind-battered with this super-fine dust that covers and sweeps the Playa and stays on your skin, wreaks havoc in your hair and burns your costumes, forever. It infiltrates like a silent lover who won’t go away – nooks, crannies, every surface it can find – and fucks with your camera equipment. It follows you back home in your suitcase and under your nails. You can never really get rid of it. That’s the beauty of love and Playa dust. It’s like blood in your veins.
Black Rock City, The third biggest city in Nevada, if only for a week each year. The second biggest LED light show in the world, after Hong Kong’s harbour. It’s what we call home.
But the reality is, some people are just out of control in this harsh but loving environment. Learn how to control your vices before coming. Leave your ego at the gate. Practice the art of gifting when you can. Give more than you take. And don’t disturb our inner peace or ‘fuck with someone else’s Burn.’ You have no control over the situation or anyone else, so embrace it. Thank You very much.
Some walked across the desert in bare feet. They could crack. But, you were warned. The Playa is a dried-up lake, a spiritual place for Native Americans and a former nuclear testing ground. Like drinking alcohol and forgetting to drink water AKA gold, there are some things you just shouldn’t do. Rocking up, only on the weekend when the man burns, is another. Pay respect to the Playa. Live with her hostility. Try to arrive earlier and leave later than others. One cannot do a spiritual journey in 2 days. If that’s all you can give, you are not ready.
This year, The Burn was big. They said 60,000. It felt more like a village. Same faces, everywhere. Even if you started off your journey in Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Germany, England, New York, L.A, San Francisco, Detroit, Seattle, Washington or Reno….we all ended up here. In ‘tiny’ Open Circle, on clockface-coordinates between 2pm and 10pm where the city is built – and everything in-between and farther than the eye could see out into the Deeeeeeeeeeep Playa, surrounded by a fence that didn’t really keep us from the ‘Big Beyond.’
And there, just when we were about to give up walking far away from the bright lights and the mostly head-pounding, migraine-causing music behind us, we stumbled across the lone box-cinema showing our childhood black and white movies. Here, sitting patiently, waiting for you to find her……. in the black of the night with her one, forlorn neon sign. Soooo quiet. She beckoned us to enter, if only to take a break from reality – from the flashing LED and pounding music mayhem outside – or to fall asleep in her comforting arms….. being fed candy and anything else, from anyone who felt like giving some.
It wasn’t like we made any plans to hang out with anyone. Something deeply serendipitous told us, that we would bump into those most important beings in this Pilgrimage of Life. And true to form, there they were. Your friends in need, your friends indeed. No surprises. All the way from across the world, you were just going to bump into whoever was meant to bump into you. Like only those lucky souls who were ever meant to make it to the surface of the moon and potentially live there, sharing those little moments together before saying goodbye again. You knew it was your calling.
Our friends from Hong Kong and New York who made it out this year…. what a big group it was. We shared our time, love, laughter and creativity between Robot Heart music and the DisOrient camp, DJ’s Damian Lazarus and Lee Burridge, only g.o.d.’s themselves, if anyone in music should deserve such a title. And, as we all watched the sunset and rise to celebrate a new day dawn, we didn’t want this all to end. This – the way the world should be. For only 7 days a year. Or 12 to 14 days – if you were one of the lucky ones to help set up and dismantle the fictional city. This homage which shows, that we may build art, cars, homes, tents, music, buildings and monuments. But when it all burns in the end, we are left with nothing. Nothing is meant to last forever. Treasure LOVE and LIFE, while it lasts.
Tango ( into the next year ) Xxx
Ps Check out the sunrise video on the Robot Heart bus below…….
On April 26th 2012, Freedom Lab uploaded this video to Youtube. We didn’t expect much, but we sparked a very heated debate with many of you loving and laughing, and others hating and insulting, saying we had no right to make these comments. 15,000 of you, watched this video. Thanks for your support.
Youtube received 1 complaint from a viewer on August 30th. On the 31st, they sent us a short email saying that we had ‘violated’ their terms of agreement. With no further explanation, they pulled the video off our channel, FreedomLabTV and erased all your comments.
Freedom Lab, asks whether Youtube had a right to do this. To hide your comments and to ban our video, on a video forum that’s supposed to encourage our rights to Freedom of Speech and Expression and Broadcast. It’s not a racially-prejudiced piece, so we don’t know what the fuss is about. We’ve tried to illustrate a balanced and light-hearted view on the HK vs. China women sentimentality, and we had many Mainlanders agree (and laugh at) the stereotypes that we brought up.
The main haters on our Youtube video….Western Men. Expats married to Mainland Chinese women took the most offense, with one taking every chance he had to insult us repeatedly on our Youtube page. But of course, he’s entitled to his opinion. We’re just wondering why our video was taken off when others like, ‘Why I Hate Mainland China’ are still allowed to play?
We are speechless about the irrationality of Youtube’s decision but trying to understand it, is like trying to find logic and equality in a communist country.
Lorea Solabarrieta is a Business and World News TV Anchor and multi-media producer, director, writer and editor for news packages, print, films and documentaries.
She founded Freedom Lab Television after working in the TV and film industry for 8 years, both on and off-camera. Most recently, she held posts anchoring Business and World News for NHK World Tokyo and CCTV News in Beijing.
She now specialises in creative direction for the Freedom Lab Team, which produces HD TV and Internet video and print stories for commissions, corporate clients, brands, and human rights stories. Freedom Lab TV has a network of 150,000 journalists and TV personalities globally who can embed all videos created by The Lab on their sites, meaning viewership is infinite and reaches all corners of the globe in the shortest time possible. The aim of The Lab is to give a voice to the voiceless and to concentrate on important stories amidst the noise of the internet – as well as giving coverage to those who might be overlooked by the press.
Freedom Lab stands for Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Speech. Our goal is to tell real-life stories truthfully, through the eyes of the storyteller, without interference or propoganda from China and other Asian governments.
In this way, The Lab is a social media mechanism for the New Age. We help our clients to create their own video and news content, whilst tapping into the power of social media, music and our extensive network of high-profile and highly-respected individuals to get your message across.
Lorea has also worked as an anchor, correspondent, producer, writer and editor of business and news stories on the following networks: The Associated Press, ABC News New York and TVB Pearl Hong Kong.
Her skills include TV and radio presenting, reporting solo on the field with own motion camera, acting for Film, hosting special events, choreography and art direction.
She has extensive past experience in total event production in Asia with the Publicis Groupe, after having worked in New York and London as a musical theatre performer ( triple-threat dancer/actress/singer ) on stage. Films acted in and worked on include: Batman ‘The Dark Knight,’ I Come With The Rain, Lumina: A Web Drama Series and SuperCapitalist ( out now ).
She then transitioned into television, as a weekly lifestyle and travel presenter for TVB’s ‘Dolce Vita’ and as an arts and culture presenter for RTHK’s ( Radio Television Hong Kong ), ‘The Works.’ She has also acted in numerous Cantonese TVB dramas on the TVB Jade Channel.
Lorea was born in Hong Kong and is of Spanish, Chinese, Scottish and Persian descent. She is a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to New York City, a former Ambassador to Hong Kong for the Olympic Games and a Bauhinia Bowl Sports recipient. She is tri-lingual in English, Chinese and French.