The 2021 Dispatch ~ A Frolic Across The Great Unknown

Every year since Burning Man Project became a nonprofit, we’ve produced a report to share just some of the ways we facilitate and extend Burning Man culture into the world. With the pandemic, and all the other things that morphed and shifted in the past two years, we changed up our storytelling too. [Drumroll please…]

Welcome, Burners, to the 2021 Dispatch — the story of how YOU facilitated and extended Burning Man into the larger world last year. Enjoy this frolic through the Burnerverse, gorgeously illustrated by our very own Tanner Boeger.

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Live in the question.” Rainer Maria Rilke

“Burning Man’s 2021 theme, The Great Unknown, was framed as ‘an invitation to emerge from our collective isolation, to explore the unfamiliar contours of a changed world, and to reimagine ourselves, our community, and our culture in ways that might not have been possible before this period of plague and pause.'” —Stuart Mangrum, Director, Burning Man Philosophical Center

The Great Unknown needn’t be vast, or far away in the outer realms of our known experience; it can be right here. It’s a move within, and a step into a place apart. It’s the realm where we imagine and play, from which we bring forth dreams about what’s to come.

Some awakenings are small, others grandiose. All inspire awe. As the year drew to a close, we emerged into the world in small, intimate ways — being creative close to home, reconnecting with ourselves, and making gentle forays back into community. The Great Unknown sat at the precipice, the first steps of beginning anew as we wake, emerge, gather our friends, and start again. 

We see you.

The biggest story of 2021 is YOU. Thanks to your generosity, your curiosity, compassion and radical creativity, Burning Man Project made it through another turbulent year. 

Thank you!

Dive into the 2021 Dispatch, intrepid Burner, for just a handful of stories from The Great Unknown — stars hand-picked from the vast expanse of the cosmos, each filled with wonders.

About the author: Kirsten Weisenburger

Kirsten Weisenburger

Misadventures led Kirsten Weisenburger (aka kbot) to Black Rock City in 2004. She was captivated and hoodwinked into organizing theme camps, rangering and participating in Regional Events. As Communications Strategist, Kirsten works across the organization and global community gathering stories and writing for the Burning Man Journal, the Jackrabbit Speaks, and the annual Dispatch. She went to journalism school in the 1990s and then spent two decades at startups and digital agencies.

4 Comments on “The 2021 Dispatch ~ A Frolic Across The Great Unknown

  • Candy says:

    Is Burning Man culture centered around intersectionality and progressive liberalism? In my research it wasn’t like that before. I’m not sure if participating equates to support of particular ideological perspectives. Is it for everyone, or for everyone who believes certain things?

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  • Gerflash says:

    There are so many bits and pieces of the Burning Man Project and its people that I’m ever grateful for. One of the top pieces though isn’t part of the BMP itself, but in fact was out on the Playa, namely, “Black Rock Plan B,” an unofficial, but still engrossing and involving event of perhaps 15,000 burners and would-be burners for one week plus. It gave me the right feeling to catapult me on to 2022, and I’m so looking forward to BMP’s major event and my home and home camp, Pepperland again!

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    • Al B Tross says:

      I wholeheartedly agree!
      “Plan B ” WAS Burning Man, just without the BMorg, no disrespect.
      I was so impressed with the community that showed up, how well it embodied the principles of our culture.
      But I did miss the big art, I am looking forward to making it BRC full scale once again, See Y’all out there

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  • K Louie says:

    Why is this called dispatch? it is confusing as that is
    My DPW Department. Dispatch,

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