Monday, 12 September 2011

inspirational rites of passage

The 'Burning Man' festival, the week-long celebration 
of self-expression, art, unlimited creativity and self-reliance
which represents a hip counterculture annual event, 
took place in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, a hundred 
miles outside Reno where over 54,000 people 
attended its 25th edition.

photos 1 - 2  © by Jim Urquhart/Reuters, 2011
The outlandish event is an endless source of inspiration,
something on the fringe and visionary, steampunk,
quite odd or even insane in some spontaneous act
of radical self-expression yet it gives once a year 
a powerful boost in unleashing people's creative 
energy providing year-round inspiration and 
food for thought to us all.

photos 3 - 4 © by Jim Bourg/Reuters, 2011
The breathtaking gathering arose out of a bonfire
ritual held in San Francisco's Baker beach on
1986 summer solstice in which the wooden effigies
of a man and a dog were burned in a spontaneous
act of self-expression by local artists Larry Harvey,
Jerry James and a bunch of fellows but probably
the event have earlier roots.

Burning Man is much more than a festival or a rave,
it's a short-term city wherein almost everything that
happens is created entirely by its citizens, a crescent
shaped community called Black Rock City that will
disappear a week later leaving no trace at all, not
even the ashes dissolved by the strong desert winds.

photos 5  > 8  © by Scott London, 2011
From wooden buildings, temporary landmarks,
art installations and sculptures of any size to the
short-term citizens with their unpredictable ensembles,
steampunk and retro looks, from army camouflage
to funny and ravishing costumes, BM is a noteworthy
compendium of style and anti-style, half the way
between Mad Max and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
and actually represents an ever-expanding culture.

This year's edition theme was ”Rites of Passage”
marking the important stage in the festival's life:
earlier this year co-founder Harvey announced
that the Burning Man org will soon be transformed
into a brand new non-profit institution called the
'Burningman Project'.

Check out the amazing galleries from the festival
website or browse through the extensive reportages
from IMHO some of the best in photojournalism:
Reuters' Jim Urquhart and Jim Bourg sensational
images by Boston Globe's Big Picture or the ones
taken by versatile California-based journalist and
photographer Scott London who this year took part
in his eight consecutive Burning Man (his website
contains a mine of stunning images) or even
digging into German photographer Oliver Fluck's
significant portfolio. Be all eyes!

photos 9  > 11 © Oliver Fluck, 2010

1 comment:

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