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The new theme, first shared on October 21, hopes to pay respect to the animal world, according to a post penned by return Burning Man resident and director of Burning Man Project's Philosophical Center, Stuart Mangrum in The Burning Man Journal.


In the post, Mangrum explained that Animalia will “celebrate the animal world and our place in it,” exploring “animals real and imagined, mythic and remembered."


The post continued: “Animals that speak and act like humans inhabit a through line in our collective mythology, from ancient myths and fairy tales to modern television.”

Mangrum also acknowledged that, despite the vast dry lake bed that Burning Man is built on each year in Black Rock City, many animals exist in that space and thrive in the environment.

“The Black Rock Desert can appear at first glance to be lifeless—other than, of course, the silly humans who build a city there every summer—but this is far from the truth,” he explained.


“Anyone familiar with the high desert knows that even out on a dry lakebed, the skies carry soaring ravens and buzzing insects, the fairy shrimp slumber below ground waiting for rain, and countless other species roam the transition zones where the playa edges into scrub and wetlands.”



Encouraging Burners to tap into their creativity is nothing new. But inviting them to explore how mankind relates to other creatures beyond the human form is what make this theme fascinating.


"The notion of a human being and another animal being somehow entwined is also reflected in the traditions of tonalism, where every human has an animal counterpart to which their life is linked," the Journal post continues. "This belief remains evident in astrology, where being born under the sign of the lion, or the monkey, is thought to somehow shape one’s innate character."


Find out more about Burning Man 2023 here.


[H/T Mixmag]