21 questions with Diana Zanelli, Barcelona RC

Categories: Stories

Diana Zanelli, Barcelona RCWhether riding BART or flying on an airplane, over 200 regional contacts, community leaders and Burning Man staff have traveled from all over the world to Oakland for the Burning Man Global Leadership Conference. Vancouver, Israel, Utah–my mind is reeling with places and faces that I’ve seen this weekend. We are everywhere!

Get to know the personalities behind the playa names in our new GLC blog series: 21 Questions with…

 Our inaugural post features Diana Zanelli, Barcelona Regional Contact.

1. How did you get your playa name?

I don’t have one.  Nothing felt authentic to use.

2. What’s the best meal you’ve eaten on the playa?

Actually it’s something I cooked. A few years back, we were doing communal dinners in my camp and I cooked a Thai coconut. It was delicious.

3. In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your region?

I do so many things. I just opened a business selling electronic cigarettes. I am a home birth midwife. We started an association for the Barcelona BM community and are organizing an event. Firstly, even though I am saying it last, I am a mother so I keep busy!

4. When was your first Burn?


5. What was your first impression of Black Rock City?

It felt like something out of my dreams, something that felt really familiar. It awoke this really exciting visionary part of myself.

6. When was your last Burn?


7. What’s was your most memorable regional event experience?

We have an event called Nowhere. It’s in Spain, but it’s organized by British people. It’s not something we put on, but it’s in my region. The best part for me at that event is the camp–it’s called the Garden. It’s such a posh experience to be at Nowhere and this camp is put on by Italian people so we have the best food, champagne every night, we have water misters all around the dance floor to keep us cool. Last year we even had an ice cream maker. It’s a really nice experience because it brings all these comforts to the Nowhere playa.

8. What’s your drink?

Dr. Pepper and rum.

9. Tent or RV?


10. What’s your idea of perfect happiness?

Having peace inside oneself no matter what is happening around you.

11. What’s your greatest fear?

Losing my child.

12. Which historical or famous figure do you most identify with?

I identify with fairies!

13. Which talent, skill would you most like to have?

I would most like to be a ninja!

14. What is your favorite piece of Burning Man swag?

Actually there are these wooden laser-carved medallions. My friend Firas made them and I have one from him for Nowhere and one for Burning Man. He lives in Dubai right now.

15. Ever been run over by an art car?


16. What do you love most about your region?

Barcelona has so many similarities to the Burn that just being there, it almost feels like you are living on the playa year round. In the local culture, they have lots of traditions that have to do with fire, dragons, dancing around fire and fire on the beach. So once people find out what we’re talking about when we are talking about Burning Man, they relate to it pretty quickly. Let’s just say they are pre-disposed burners!

17. Which principle is most meaningful to you?

I think radical self-reliance because I believe we can’t wait around for circumstances to be just right in order to go for what we want. A lot of times, we get comfortable and just say oh it’s not the right moment or I don’t have this or I don’t have that, but really you do. You have it all inside to make what you want happen. That’s the one I connect with the best.

18. No shower, solar shower or water truck shower?

Solar shower.

19. Where do you go to be alone on the playa?

The Temple.

20. What makes someone a Burner?

The number one quality is open-mindedness to accept and see other people for who they really are and be mindful of our judgment towards that. I’m not saying Burners don’t judge, because that is incorrect. But I think that in the Burner community, we are more aware if we are judging and wanting to correct judgment, instead of just judging and going through it and thinking it’s ok. We catch ourselves if we judge and we may try to correct that.

21. What is your favorite button or motto?

Piss clear.

Diana will be delivering today’s’s International Regional Network Update.  More 21 Questions with GLC Burners to come!

Author: Iris

A New York native, Iris has spent the past 4 years living in China and exploring much of Asia. She supports the Burning Man Regional Network from her new home in San Francisco. Connect with her here. or follow her here.

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