Burning Man

This is a new addition to X-Pose Magazine. For each new issue we will be featuring a story on something interesting and creative. For issue #7 we are featuring one of the worlds most interesting and colourful festivals! We have a report and some insightful information on the Burning Man Festival in Nevada, USA, by someone who was actually there at this year’s event, Leila Antakly.

by Leila Antakly

Quick Intro:
Leila Antakly is originally from New York City and moved to Dubai two years ago to become General Manager at Wilhelmina Models Dubai. She began her career producing photo shoots for Vogue Italia in New York, is founder of a popular lifestyle blog ninunina.com and spends her free time supporting small NGO’s around the world. We asked her to share with us her first experience at Burning Man Festival this summer.

After attending my first Burn this summer, I wrote a blog post about my personal journey which can be found on this link HERE [Follow Leila’s Blog]. However, for this article I wanted to give a more general idea of what Burning Man is all about.


Burning Man is an annual event and a massive “unconventional” community from all over the world that are dedicated to art, music, self- expression and self- reliance. The Burn usually takes place the last week of August in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. After one week participants are expected to depart leaving no trace that anyone was ever there. There are many ways to describe what Burning Man is. If you speak to several goers, you will quickly realise it means something different to each participant, so to properly understand it, one needs to just go, free their mind and experience it for themselves.

Burning Man’s Ten Principles provide a guiding social and cultural framework for the community. Burning Man founder Larry Harvey wrote these Ten Principles in 2004 as guidelines and were crafted not as to dictate of how people should be and act, but as a reflection of the community’s culture, as it had organically developed since the event’s inception:

1. Radical Inclusion
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

2. Gifting
Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

3. Decommodification
In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

4. Radical Self-reliance
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.


5. Radical Self-expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

6. Communal Effort
Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

7. Civic Responsibility
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

8. Leaving No Trace
Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

9. Participation
Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.

10. Immediacy
Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.


No matter how many stories you hear, photos you see or videos you play, there is no way of describing the sensation of riding out into the playa on your bike and experiencing the magic of these larger than life art installations, music and the overwhelming feeling that overcomes you where you realize anything here is possible.

You can also check out these great videos of the Burning Man Festival

Special thanks to Leila Antakly for her article and photos.

You can also go to the Burning Man’s official website here on BURNING MAN WEBSITE


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