Catharsis on the Mall will take place Veterans Day weekend

Catharsis on the Mall. Photo courtesy of Matt LeClair.
Catharsis on the Mall. Photo courtesy of Matt LeClair.

By: Ville Iso-Ahola

On Veteran’s Day Weekend, the National Mall will host Catharsis on the Mall. Some people call this the district’s mini version of Nevada’s Burning Man Festival. Catharsis on The Mall will begin at 11 a.m. from Friday, November 9 to Sunday, November 11.

Catharsis on the Mall features three days of modern Avant-Garde art and displays, workshops, discussions, music, and lectures. They intend to facilitate the overall goal of communal and individual healing in every regard.

Every labor day weekend, Nevada’s Black Rock Desert hosts the annual Burning Man festival, which includes several days of camping, music, art, partying, and weirdness within a mini city of homemade art installments and campsites. The festival ends with the ceremonial burning of a several story high statue.  “Catharsis on the Mall” adopted the same concept and idea only on a smaller scale within an urban setting.

Last year, however, government officials disallowed the erection of a 45-foot statue of a nude woman featured at Burning Man. Instead, organizers brought in a smaller, 26-foot nude female statue while a host of workshops, art installations, and communal activities maintained the overall theme and sentiment of the Burning Man Festival.  In its four-year history, “Catharsis on the Mall” has, like Burning Man, become a quasi-religious retreat but with a modern artistic twist. This draws a very diverse crowd.

“Catharsis” 2018’s theme is “Waking from the American Dream”. It will feature an all-inclusive space near the Washington Monument, which will host a wide spectrum of activities geared towards healing.  As in years past, this year’s Vigil will feature music, art, dance, workshops, yoga and lots more all of. In the spirit of communal healing, this will be free and open to all.

Just like Burning Man, the event features homemade art displays and an array of Avant-Garde and interactive art. This intends to promote and facilitate healing arts for all.  The event’s organizers and participants are seeking to “encourage a true healing experience as a nation.”    

While art submissions for this year’s event are closed, volunteer opportunities remain. And financial donations are still being accepted. Indeed, you can visit Catharsis on the Mall’s website for more information.