Burning Man: Desert Party

Photographer Zahra Khan's Black Rock City Shots Herald the Post-Apocalyptic Festival's Return

Temples rise from the arid desert floor, minivans grow horns and dusty revelers cycle through the hazy expanse in photographer Zahra Khan’s images taken at last year’s Burning Man festival. Held since the early 1990s in a five-mile site in the Black Rock Desert, some 120 miles north of Reno, Nevada, Burning Man serves as the gathering point for up to 50,000 eccentrics and party-goers to unite in the name of art, creativity and hallucinogens. For one week leading up to Labor Day each year, the fleeting community of Black Rock City is built from the ground up with tents, camper vans, and unconventional abodes erected in tribute to self-expression and self-reliance. “It’s true what everyone says: that you can’t really describe Burning Man,” says the Vienna-based Khan, who attended the desert spectacle for the first time last year. “You create the experience you want, so it’s different for everyone: whatever you’re looking for you can find; whatever you want to do, you can do.” As a testament to the festival’s anti-commercial mindset, no cash is allowed and campers must barter with one another for any supplies and services they need during the week-long adventure. Kicking off this Monday and running until Monday September 3, this year’s Burning Man is themed Fertility 2.0. Some of the more artful presentations announced include the "Talk to God" phonebooth and "Womb with a View."

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