Photographer & Author: Francesco Stumpo
Camera:  Bell & Howell Auto 35/Reflex 35mm (Film)

Film: Fujifilm Superia 35mm ASA 200 Color
Processed: Photoshop CS6, Lightroom and VSCO.

Date: June 6th, 2018

Photo Essay:
First time Burning Man Captured on film

From San Francisco to the Black Rock Desert captured beautifully on 35mm film.

First pilgrimage to Black Rock City in the northern Nevada dessert was a success. After living in San Francisco since 2015, I have continuously heard stories of adventures from friends and people in California about this annual one-week-city and since then I've been eager to make it to Burning Man.

It was a week without a phone, no monetary transactions, genuine human connections (new and old) and by far the most uncomfortable yet comforting place I have been so far. There was literally dust in places I couldn't imagine, had Pho at midnight with a marching band playing the background, watched numerous sunrises and sunsets and even had Russian Banya, all within the playa dust and sun in the middle of a dessert.

"Is tough to describe. It’s not quite an art festival, not quite a desert rave, and not quite a social experiment - but something of all three" - Scott London

If anything this experience made us reflect on the resiliency of humans to survive adverse situations, harsh climates and unforgiving temperatures. Humans in the desert, what a privilege to be able to witness this!. As Reyner Banham mentioned in his book Scenes in America Deserta, “In a landscape where nothing officially exists (otherwise it would not be “desert”) absolutely anything becomes thinkable and may consequently happen”

Looking back, when embarking on our first journey to the Black Rock Desert for a week, this opportunity seemed to be a good metaphor for starting to recognise ideas, places and essential architectures that are not found in the regular scenarios of cities. This place it’s without doubt one of the world’s most interesting and mind-blowing gatherings. 

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