The cultural phenomenon that is Burning Man takes place annually at Nevada’s Black Rock City. Official photographer Jamen Percy explains what it means to him!

To me, Burning Man has become my creative oasis and a decommodified sanctuary – one of the last strongholds in our modern world to be void of commercialisation.

I first went nearly 10 years ago on a last-minute invite from a friend. I was reluctant at first, not knowing what it really was, but after we drove through the gates I soon worked out this was well beyond the definition of a ‘festival’. It was a cultural movement at a scale I had never seen, I picked up my camera and the rest is history.

This liberation combined with inspiration from the interactive art gives rise to the most brazen self-expression and creations – in a most surreal backdrop of the Black Rock Desert. I’m there to survive, participate and document this unique counter-culture movement through my dusty camera.

Bendy Bonnie on her trike and an outfit that displays self expression.


Lisa Ferguson installing her 2019 art project ‘Too Bee or Not Too Bee”.


This is a portrait of myself in action (notice camera on the left), taken by fellow Burning Man photographer Eleanor Preger. I like to be a participant and photograph the event from the inside out, rather than being a spectator photographing from the outside.


Paraluna by Christopher Schardt was a spinning set of programed LED wands, displaying all sorts of psychedelic light patterns while classical music played. The arm could compress to bring the show closer to the viewers.

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