When dream meets reality- a short movie of Burning Man MMXXII, by Gilles Bonugli Kali from LaFrenchTV/Audience33. Following is an interview of the author, which was published in the San Francisco Chronicle on September 23, 2012.
Gilles Bonugli Kali on the Playa
Gilles Bonugli Kali, 33, was introduced to the Burning Man festival three years ago, after seeing images from the annual Mecca for thousands of devoted fallers held in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.
“I immediately was attracted by the atmosphere of this. On my artistic side, I am making digital art compositions that are a bit connected with this kind of Spirit.” “My old friend from France, Stephane Osmont, has lived in the bay area for many years. He told me about the 2012 edition of Burning Man and he convinced me to come over here to participate.”
Kali ended up joining Laurent Le Gall, a director who has been to Burning Man ten times and produced an earlier documentary on the event called “Voyage in Utopia.” Le Gall invited him to help capture footage of the 2012 event for a new film project.
“The first time I saw the festival grounds, I was literally amazed! I never thought such a thing was possible on planet Earth! I think the whole thing is an incredible experience and this is linked with the fact that when you enter the camp and The Playa, every person seems to be connected to the same thing, they all go in the same direction with a smile on their face and love in the heart. I also had the chance to be on a high crane for the burning of the Man. This was just huge experience.”
The photographer says that he was also inspired by the amazing pieces of art he encountered on The Playa and was impressed by the different camps he would pass through on his way from Point A to Point B, on top of his amazement by being in the middle of the Black Rock Desert with its unanticipated sandstorms and whiteouts. The Burning Man experience was also very emotional for him, at times.
“When entering the temple of Juno, the respect, the silence, and the energy in there were really incredible. Crying was a natural thing, as was laughing…. Also, during parties at the sunrise moment, you see all of the happy faces was atrue moment of joy for me. I won’t say I had long discussions with other people there, but there were small moments of exchanging Ideas. You stop by a piece of art, talking five minutes with someone, then you go on riding your bike until the next stop, the next meet up…”
Kali came away from Burning Man not only inspired artistically, he found renewed hope in the direction the world is turning.
“Knowing human beings are capable of doing this kind of event give me true hope in the midst of the critical situations we are experiencing around the world. This re-stores, a hit, my confidence in our species. Burning Man is one of thing you don’t want to miss – at least one time in your life.”