Dusty PlayGround – For The Littlest Burners

dusty playground
~ For The Littlest Burners ~

Since my first ‘Burn’ in 2000, I've been intrigued by the children of Black Rock City. They're awesome little creatures who seem so effortlessly at ease – playful sages covered in alkaline dust who remind me always to be curiously present, fearlessly open and light of heart. Without their youthful spark – without the generational diversity they represent – Burning Man wouldn't be a true community.

Though they're the primary focus of this project, it's not just about the kids – it's about the depth of a culture evidenced by their presence.

For thousands of us, participation in the Burning Man community is not just an annual event. It's a way of life – the conscious, intentional choice to not only seek new ways of coming together but to actively co-create those alternatives.

It makes sense that individuals whose lives have been so transformed by this culture would bring their children into it. The kids are not simply peripheral, not brought out of obligatory necessity solely to allow parents to attend. For these Burners, it's not a question of sacrificing their own experience – it's the most naturally obvious choice to share what they perceive to be a truly enriching experience with those closest to them. 

As Burners, we're encouraged to connect more deeply with imagination – given permission to nurture creativity and be boldly self-expressive – shown what it looks and feels like when we observe 'others', in all our myriad shapes and colors, without judgement – taught the value of 'gifting'...of asking what we might offer rather than what we might gain – how we may contribute rather than simply consume.

Through early exposure to such revolutionary ways of being, interacting, and building community – imagine what kind of world these kids might someday create.

Theirs is a world I hope to grow old in.

Set to publish in July of 2017, Dusty Playground features playful portraits honoring the children of Burning Man and their families, with words from some of the parents and children, as well as a foreword from Burning Man CoFounder, Harley Dubois.