TEMPLE OF INCLUSION
Last year at Bonnaroo I worked as an info ambassador at Plaza 6, directly supervised by Lila Honnaker. The beautiful experience of music and connection was juxtaposed by the extreme adversity people encountered arriving and surviving the festival. Being on the frontlines as a staff member helped me see some of the difficulties inherent in such a large festival. I became close with several other long time staff from Plaza 6, and a few of us came up with a project to celebrate diversity.
During the holocaust homosexuals in concentration camps were forced to wear an upside down pink triangle. In recent years, this symbol has been reclaimed by the LGBT community, especially to demarcate safe space and allies. We want to build a safe space around the shape of a triangle, where festival goers can relax and have discussions around inclusivity. This temple will provide shade during the day, and light at night. Written all over the structure will be questions prompting discussion around diversity. We were inspired by last year being the first that Bonnaroo hosted a pride parade, we feel that now we can take this momentum further and have a dedicated structure to the subject during the run of the festival.
The benches of this structure are arranged in a triangle, and each piece of the shade structure is a triangle. The temple is built to be open and accessible from all sides, and lit at all times. The lighting effects will create an ever changing, dancing, rainbow glow. In the daytime the mylar panels will reflect the faces of those beneath them, by looking up people will see themselves and others through a new perspective. We hope that this can be placed near a plaza area so those inside are never isolated.
The pavilion has a shade structure made of iridescent mylar that spans 16 feet in diameter. This will block the sun during the day, and reflect the light at night. The benches are arranged in a triangle formation and have a 10 foot diameter. Three people can sit on each bench and they are close enough together to allow easy conversation. Each of the benches will be covered in questions to promote discussion around inclusivity.
During the day people can shelter from the sun. At night people can congregate in a safe well-lit environment. Each of the 9 channels that rise from the benches will be filled with pixel-mapped LEDs. These will change color in show of rainbow patterns, and reflect off of the mylar canopy above.
Each of the benches will be covered in questions to prompt discussion around inclusivity, for example:
Do you feel comfortable being yourself?
How do you make people different than you feel welcome?
Do you know your privilege?
Have you faced challenges not experienced by those around you?
Do you mask any part of your identity?
Are there pieces of yourself you hide from your loved ones?
Do you know you are welcome here?
How would you feel about leaving where you live?
Do you ever feel left out?
Where do you feel safe?