This is the ultimate in temporal design for a social event, manifested for an instant artistic community. This year, 68,000 participants gathered in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert at the end of August to create a community dedicated to art, self-expression, sharing and self-reliance. They depart one week later, having left no trace whatsoever.
It’s more of a city than a festival, wherein almost everything that happens is created entirely by its citizens, who are active participants in the event.
This year the theme was “Cargo Cult”. The phenomena sprouting from a few villages in Vanuatu, (see my last post), who worship “John Frum” and believe he will return one day to save them. I went to one of these Villages on Tanna Island. Nearly burnt my feet off crossing a stream to get there, as it came from the active volcano. I learnt how to walk on water pretty quickly, and created entertainment for the ladies washing their clothing. The villagers make bamboo and timber aeroplanes and guns and worship a red cross. John Frum is believed to have been a GI who dispensed medicine during the Second World War.
Ten principles of Burning Man;
Radical Inclusion for anyone, Gifting, Decommodification, (no commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising), Radical Self-reliance, Radical Self-expression, (sure is plenty of that), Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leaving No Trace, Participation, and Immediacy….live in the moment
the burning, the end
see a short film taken by a drone;
Like this? See SXSea
Photos by James Cuff and from Reuters by Jim Urquhart