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Burning Man 2012

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Out on the playa of Nevada's Black Rock Desert, more than 50,000 participants gathered last week to form Black Rock City, a temporary city that became the home of the 26th annual Burning Man Festival. Every year, participants from around the world descend on the playa -- performers, artists, free spirits, and more -- to form a self-reliant community, to dance, to express themselves and take in the spectacle of the festival. Reuters photographer Jim Urquhart spent the week on the playa, and returned with these photographs, taking us along on a virtual visit to Burning Man 2012. [40 photos]

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The sun sets during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, on August 29, 2012. More than 50,000 people from all over the world gathered at the sold out festival, which is celebrating its 26th year, to spend a week in the remote desert cut off from much of the outside world to experience art, music and the unique community that develops. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)
The sun sets during the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, on August 29, 2012. More than 50,000 people from all over the world gathered at the sold out festival, which is celebrating its 26th year, to spend a week in the remote desert cut off from much of the outside world to experience art, music and the unique community that develops. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)
Bingram Lai explores "Zonotopia and the Two Trees" during Burning Man 2012, on August 29, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
An aerial view of Black Rock City, the Burning Man 2012 campground in the Black Rock Desert, on August 30, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
An aerial view shows the center of Black Rock City during Burning Man 2012, on August 30, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Mountain Spirit (left) and Shooting Star, their Playa names, dance in the desert during Burning Man 2012, on September 1, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
The Samurais dance at sunrise in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, on August 31, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Steven Babson (left) and Lila Wright sit at the Temple of Juno at sunrise, on August 29, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
The Temple of Juno, at sunrise during Burning Man 2012, on August 29, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Libriel Padilla watches the sunrise as it is obscured by smoke from a distant wildfire during Burning Man 2012, on August 29, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
A 50-foot tall wooden art installation "Anubis" burns on the Playa during Burning Man 2012, on August 31, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Sophie Keel (left) and Emilyne Love dance around the burned remains of the Anubis art installation, on August 31, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Participants watch the flames from "El Pulpo Mecanico" during Burning Man 2012, on August 29, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Eric Yttri plays a flaming tuba in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, on August 30, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
An art installation titled "La Llorona" part of the Burning Man 2012 "Fertility 2.0" arts and music festival, on August 31, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Performance artist Jovis makes his way through Center Camp, on September 1, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
People gather at sunrise at the Temple of Juno before it is burned, in the Black Rock Desert, on September 2, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Ruth Kidd explores the art piece "Ego" before sunrise, on August 29, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Hallie McConlogue stays cool, partially submerged in a fishbowl helmet, during Burning Man 2012, on August 31, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Mementos and messages are left on the Temple of Juno before it is burned, on September 2, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Art car "The Sperminator" cruises the Playa, on August 31, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Two men bare-knuckle fight in the Thunder Dome during Burning Man 2012, on August 31, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
People explore an art installation in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, on September 2, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Zane Salzetti (left) kisses Memory Collins while artwork that is part of the Circle of Regional Effigies is burned, on August 30, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Participants watch as artwork that is part of the Circle of Regional Effigies burns during Burning Man 2012, on August 30, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Kitten, her Playa name, watches part of the Circle of Regional Effigies burn, on August 30, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
The art installation "Star Seed", during Burning Man 2012, on September 2, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Rainbow Fish (left) and Ambidrextrous, their Playa names, enjoy a bottle of wine and a kiss at sunrise in the Black Rock Desert, on August 31, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Ciberfy, his Playa name, dances at sunrise in the Black Rock Desert, on August 31, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
An art installation on the Playa, at sunrise, on August 31, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
A man with the Playa name "Shaft" rides his bicycle in the Unicorn Stampede, on August 29, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
A skydiver descends to the Playa during Burning Man 2012, on August 29, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
"Nick", his Playa name, rides across the desert, on August 29, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Flames shoot from an art car during Burning Man 2012, on September 1, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
A multi-building art installation titled "Burn Wall Street", in the Black Rock Desert, on September 2, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
The Temple of Juno goes up in flames, on September 2, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Ingelise Titheradge cries as the Temple of Juno burns, on September 2, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
The Man is engulfed in flames during Burning Man 2012, on September 1, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Fireworks go off as The Man is burned in the Black Rock Desert, on September 1, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
A man jumps over the burning remains of the wall of the Temple of Juno during Burning Man 2012, on September 2, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
Two people pull their suitcases through the sand as they make their way home, after the conclusion of Burning Man 2012, on September 2, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

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