The only truly free expression of art in Israel, is about to be stopped.

One artist’s story among thousands…

Ever have a dream about to come true, and then have it crushed through bureaucracy?

Mid-burn is the one venue in Israel that actively supports large scale interactive art, where the only basis for acceptance is a good idea and willingness to work hard to see it come through. They even fund up to 50% of the costs!

Last year was the first festival of its kind … with 40 art installations.  This year?  There are 68 art installations (and I’m not even counting the hundreds of performance art, music, fashion art, and theme camps that abounds) … truly the largest expression of art (with no censorship) in the Middle East.

For months people have been volunteering and working non-stop to see their dreams come true. I personally have had a dream for over four years… to build a human climbing wall.  I wanted people to experience what it must feel like to climb to the top by having to dig your hands and feet into the orifices’ of human body parts.  This year, it was going to come true.

I was faced with many challenges….. I presented my Idea months ago in front of other artists, and collaborated with three other amazing people to create a 3 meter high pyramid shaped climbing wall.  We divided and conquered… each artist doing what they do best … building, sculpting, painting.  Together we made a piece of art that none of us could have imagined doing alone.

The wall is currently on the ground in the desert waiting for permission to be set up…… so close to fulfilling my dream….. Yet so far……

This is my personal story …. Now multiply that times 6,000 people all expressing themselves in some sort of art form.

If this art festival is cancelled, I doubt it will be able to continue again, millions of shekels have already been spent, and will be lost.

I know many people just think this is another festival where people party in the desert…. But it is not… it is so much more.  It is the taste of true freedom of expression, which the bureaucracy in this country seems to choke out of us at every opportunity.

I hope by some sort of miracle, the bureaucracy can be solved in the next 24 hours…….

IMG-20150516-WA0003 IMG-20150516-WA0004 received_1015286576262639820150513_192009 20150513_192024 20150513_192037 20150513_192250


ENGLISH TRANSLATION: (unedited)  of reason Mid-burn is cancelled for the moment. 

Dear friends, 
Our community is going through complicated days, days that will impact the event and the road ahead. 
As we began detailing in our last post, we would like to be transparent about what is unfolding. 

Knowing that Midburn is an immense project that thousands of people have been working on for a long while, has been a guiding force to us, throughout this journey. 
A community that wants to come together, express itself and create art at the heart of the desert. 
6000 people. 400 participants from abroad. 
68 art installations that community members have been working on for months.
87 theme camps that have been in the works for months. And an enormous body of volunteers that has been working relentlessly around the clock. 

Midburn 2014, with approximately 3000 participants has been declared a success not only for the amount of art it had featured, but also for its security performance. The event has concluded with ZERO (!) reported police events.

With that record, we began the permit process with Israel Police, in accordance with all procedures. 
Over a month ago we have submitted an appeal to the permit criteria Israel Police has required of us. 
Several discussions with Police have been taking place in different forums, and the more we have been asking for detailed explanation for the requirements, the more these requirements have been escalating in their strictness without a satisfactory explanation from the Police. 
From that moment onwards, all our request for additional meeting have been flatly refused. 
On Wednesday the Police had formally announced they do not permit the event. 
On that very day we hired the services of a lawyer who specializes in such cases. 
The next day we have received a stop-work order. At this moment, hundreds of volunteers working to build and create infrastructure, art installations, theme camps, health clinic, center camp and more– came to a standstill. 
At the same time- we have submitted an urgent motion to the district court for an executive order in a rush ex-parte proceeding (*=with only one side attending). In addition, a second motion have been submitted to the magistrate court to annul the stop-work order. 
This evening (Saturday) we will submit another motion for a rush proceeding of the stop-work order, in the presence of both parties, in order to ensure the case will be processed tomorrow (Sunday) morning.

As a community that upholds “civic responsibility” as a guiding principle, we respect the law. We are hopeful that things will change following the court case tomorrow morning, but as of now the city is closed. Theme camps, artists, community members, we ask you not to arrive at this time. Please cooperate. 

We find that concession is achievable and likely, through a conciliatory dialogue and kind attention, and therefore we are looking for a direct communication channel with the Negev division commander and his deputy, whom have been refusing to meet with us since the process has begun. 

We are utterly hopeful that things will be resolved over the next couple of days.
If you believe you can help, if you have a way in which you can impact- please email us at

We are starting Midburn now. The way home is not easy, nor is it smooth, but if we all harness ourselves and go together, we will get there. 
Below is a video of a few words given last night by the CEO of the Midburn organization and the man running its entire production.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *