Tuesday, June 24, 2008
random posts of pretty: detroit edition
Until this story ran in last Thursday's Detroit News, I had no idea that Burning Man - the annual desert event that draws a slew of performers, artists and nudists - has become a national civic-minded community, so of course I had no idea that there was a very large and active branch of that community right here in Detroit.  Ordinarily, this news would only be of mild interest to me, but when the article went on to announce that the Michigan Burning Man community had constructed an elaborate, hand-made temple right smack in the middle of one of the most blighted communities in the city, and that they would be unveiling said temple on Summer Solstice, I had to check it out.  There was too much potential for the bizarre to not.

Unfortunately, there were no nudists or fire breathers at the temple's reveal, but seeing the odd, beautiful thing in person was worth the trip. According the those who had a hand in building it, the purpose of the temple is to put art in the center of a community that lacks beauty, serving as a symbol of hope. It's intended to function as a gathering place for the community, particularly for the Motor City Blight Busters' summer youth group.

Pictures really don't do the thing justice - it's really incredible.  Also incredible is how much it detracts from the blight that surrounds it.  Of course, I'm not so naive as to think that things like this are enough to change the atmosphere of a community, but at least it's something.  At least it's a start.  

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