Rainbow Gathering

What should the ideal community or society be like?
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Rainbow Gathering

Postby Sabina » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:40 pm

Rainbow Gatherings are temporary intentional communities, typically held in outdoor settings, and espousing and practicing ideals of peace, love, harmony, freedom and community, as a consciously expressed alternative to mainstream popular culture, consumerism, capitalism and mass media.

I came across a beautiful set of photographs taken by Benoit Paillé, who writes: "I decided to photograph my family, my brothers and sisters. I have been going to rainbow gatherings for 7 years now, and I have taken pictures of it for the past 3 years. The pictures you see are very precious since photography is not usually allowed during the event, so please be respectful to my brothers and sisters"

Here are some of these photographs, from a few different gatherings:

rainbow-gathering1.jpg
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I remember Dermot and peaceandlovegirl dreaming about the hippie era and, well, there are still such communities out there.... you could join them and live your dream!

Here is a little more information from Wikipedia:

Rainbow Gatherings and the Rainbow Family of Living Light (usually abbreviated to "Rainbow Family") are an expression of a Utopian impulse, combined with bohemianism, hipster and hippie culture, with roots clearly traceable to the 1960's counterculture. Mainstream society is commonly referred to and viewed as "Babylon", connoting the participants' widely held belief that modern lifestyles and systems of government are unhealthy, unsustainable, exploitative and out of harmony with the natural systems of the planet. The original Rainbow Gathering was in 1972, and has been held annually in the United States from July 1 through 7 every year on National Forest land. Other regional and national gatherings are held throughout the year, in the United States and throughout the rest of the world.

The largest Rainbow Gatherings pose significant logistical challenges, providing up to 30,000 people with food, water, sanitation, medical care, and order in remote settings. Relations with law enforcement and local communities are frequently an issue. Media coverage is often unfavorable, focusing on drug use, nudity, and the countercultural aspects of the assemblage. Nevertheless, the Gatherings have proven durable and international phenomena for 39 years.
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Re: Rainbow Gathering

Postby Sabina » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:43 pm

Here are a few more photographs from these gatherings, by the same photographer.

rainbow-gathering11.jpg
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rainbow-gathering12.jpg
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rainbow-gathering13.jpg
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rainbow-gathering14.jpg
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rainbow-gathering15.jpg
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rainbow-gathering16.jpg
rainbow-gathering16.jpg (65.13 KiB) Viewed 16162 times
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Re: Rainbow Gathering

Postby mirjana » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:55 pm

Beautiful people. *WAVE*
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Re: Rainbow Gathering

Postby dermot » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:10 pm

Not sure what to say Sabina, its a choice isnt it? People look so happy, not an ipod, mobile phone, laptop, license of any kind, street sign, walk-dont-walk sign, newspaper, or any other assorted rubbish in sight.

I did a lot of day dreaming as i drove today, imagining fields with pixies and leprechauns playing in them as i passed, Kylie Minogue was sitting on a farmyard gate chewing on a piece of straw, she blew me a kiss as i went by, Stevie Nicks was wafting around another field in a fog of veils, ......all in all a normal day.

And then you post this!

Thank you!
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Re: Rainbow Gathering

Postby Rachel » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:13 pm

Beautiful photography, great use of light and shade, and did I detect the usage of an old school timer and lens?

I mean no disrespect at all to the 'Rainbow People' movement, but the photos looked staged. The clothes were made from expensive cloth which draped in 'just the right way', the cleanliness of not only the focal face, but the people around; there were white, bleached teeth apparent, the dreadlocks were extremely clean and professionally crafted with the hair around the dreadies being clean, wispy and neat which is incongruent with the dreadlocked hair philosophy...the list of things that just don't add up with the 'Rainbow' pseudo-hippie people is quite long.

Please, people, don't ever take anything on face philosophy, face value or simply without making your own mind up about things. Because you may be wrong, and I'm sure you've all got the courage to be honestly and openly wrong; but there is a very good chance that your 'hunch' just may.be.right.
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Re: Rainbow Gathering

Postby Ryan » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:14 pm

Interesting perspective... I enjoyed the images... never thought of being a part of any such communes but upon your words I decided to look at the images more critically.

I must confess... I did not find anyone even showing their teeth in these images so I was a bit confused as to why you mentioned bleached teeth... maybe you found additional images somewhere else? As for expensive materials... I wouldn't know where to begin to judge cloth... however... I do not believe most of these people to be "without means"... since they can afford and arrange to come together in different parts of the country or world, you know what I mean?

The images are definitely staged, and I am positive they have been edited/enhanced digitally. However, I am sure the photographer... be he professional or amateur... wanted to display them in the most dreamy way possible as a counter measure for the negative publicity they get from the "local" media when and wherever they have one of their "gatherings". I am not sure that all constitutes condemnation on a whole... for me an "alternative" way of life does not necessarily mean poor and destitute... just with different values and more awareness to the affects our decisions and actions have on our surroundings.

On further thought, I could imagine that there are some within the group that simply like to "role play" from time to time and meet the group at their gatherings specifically for that purpose... To fulfill that need within themselves. To imagine, or get the feeling of, living during a different time/age... and afterward return to their "normal" way of life as an accountant in a law firm in deep downtown L.A.?

Who knows? Not me, but then again... I wouldn't join the Rainbow Group/Family/People... it's just not my cup of tea...
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Re: Rainbow Gathering

Postby Rachel » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:30 pm

Not once did I condemn the commune way of life, Ryan. I am saddened that my writing may have reflected that. I will certainly be mindful of the reader when writing my next piece.

I think the photos are false. That's all I was saying.

And well, now that one mentions it, The Rainbow People? If a commune of people are that determined to be A nomadic, self sufficient people, then I would hope that greater imagination, creativity and intelligence would be the the kindling for such a wonderful philospohy.

The term 'Rainbow' as applied to a mob, or clan, orginated from the Indigenous Peoples of Australia.

Over 40, 000 years ago.
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Re: Rainbow Gathering

Postby Ryan » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:27 pm

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you condemned anything or anyone.
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Re: Rainbow Gathering

Postby dermot » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:36 pm

Ok yes......the images were too beautiful, the faces too beautiful, the bodies too thin, the expressions too expressionless. The fact is these people are only there becuase they choose to be, that implies they have the opportunity to do so backed by another life elsewhere.

I just connected with the idea thats all, the glossy brochure effect was obvious but didnt actually take away from my appreciation.

Im sure there are things to be considered about the way it was presented, sometimes for me not going to deep into the whole thing is a good thing....i can appreciate the idea! B0)
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Re: Rainbow Gathering

Postby Rachel » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:28 am

I love the last photo of the child with dirt streaks on her face and a grubby pink top on.
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