Burning Man Department of Public Works "mugshots"


I love DangerRanger's "mugshots" of people from the The Black Rock City Department of Public Works at Burning Man. DangerRanger's DPW Mug Shots (via Laughing Squid)


  1. Kind of confused,are these mug shots of people that had an altercation of something at Burning man, or are they volunteers for the event?

  2. They really shouldn’t be called mugshots. They are the “mugs” of the volunteers.

    Freefall127: do you have any theories?

  3. DPW builds Black Rock City like any other department of public works. They lay out streets, help install lightposts and signs, take care of trash and other city management issues. It takes a special breed of volunteer to handle DPW work for many weeks out in the harsh dusty desert, hence the apocalyptic costuming….bandanas, hats and googles are the necessary uniform.

    I met my handsome husband when he was a DPW volunteer…..mmmmmm…..yummy volunteers.

  4. #6, I don’t think the DPW handles trash. Part of the radical self-reliance philosophy is that whatever you bring in, you bring out, especially garbage. It would be overwhelming to try to handle a week’s worth of trash from 40,000 people.

    People dress that way because they are on a giant ancient lake bed in the middle of Nevada. Playa weather can be intense and survival is an ongoing and significant concern. The desert throbs to a delicious mix of Mad Max/Dr. Suess/Raver/Alice in Wonderland/Sex Maxhine attire. I (sadly) couldn’t make it again this year.

  5. @freefall127: “Why are we all white?”

    That reminds me of the one time I ever went to Burning Man. We happened to camp in a spot where, coincidentally, a black woman was set up on one side of us and another black couple was camping on the other. (they didn’t know each other). We were all hanging out talking outside our tents one night when a (white) dude rode by on his bike and yelled “WOW!!! It’s SO COOL to see BLACK PEOPLE here!!!!”

    Of course he didn’t, like, stop to talk to us or anything. Of course not.

    That was my first and last year at Burning man…

  6. Site Crew (what we call people that do that sort of job here in the UK) must be similar the world over. I’ve spent a lot of my summers with people that look like that bunch. Hell I look like that bunch :)

Comments are closed.