In 1986, Larry Harvey shared with his friend the desire to build an eight-foot figure and burn it in a spontaneous act of radical self-expression to celebrate the summer solstice. Thus, arose the idea
of Burning Man, a week-long annual event held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, United States which is dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. This annual celebration takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy.
Until 1989, Harvey and friends continued to conduct a yearly gatheringon Baker beach. It was only in 2011 that a black rock city was created with a basic man sculpture. This desert location, which is otherwise empty throughout the year brims with around 50,000 artists during this carnival. The event culminates on Saturday night when the event’s mascot – affectionately nicknamed as The Man – is set on fire.
Burning Man is based on the Ten Principles which are Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Decommodification, Radical Self-reliance, Radical Self-expression, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leaving No Trace, Participation and Immediacy. Some of the rules of the city include leaving no waste, engaging in no commerce and no use of non-mutant cars moving above five miles per hour. All participantsdepart one week later, having left no trace whatsoever.
The primary concern of every member attending Burning Man is to maintain health, wellness and creativity. From food to accommodation, the revelers are expected to get everything of their own. Participants can also only re-enter Black Rock City in case of emergency.
The theme of Burning Man 2012 was ‘Fertility 2.0’ in honor of the female form.
In this fast paced , technologically driven world, an initiative such as Burning Man, despite its dangers serves as a temporary example of a utopian world. It is a perfect forum, sans anybarriers for artists and performers to revel and celebrate, at the same time ensuring that they’re environment friendly.