Barbara Traub is a photographer living in California. We met with her in her home-town of San Francisco.
Barbara, the daughter of a photographer, was born and raised in Baltimore and earned a degree in humanities from Johns Hopkins University. She studied photography in Florence Italy as part of an exchange program.
As she told us, she was influenced by the abstract photographs of Ralph Gibson and Ruth Bernhard. She is passionate for both landscapes and the human form. She has been published several times.
Barbara fell in love with the Burning Man 10 years ago when this festival was a small event and has seen it grow into the annual arts and performance festival it is known as today. For Barbara, attending the Burning Man each year isn’t only an opportunity to shoot the ambiance and the people. She has also tried to get in tune with the spiritual dimension of the festival, the way ‘burners’ live in this desert of California.
For sure, she’s fascinated by the Burning Man and after having followed this festival for 10 years she has done a book called Desert to Dream. Barbara has found, in this festival of more than 50 000 participants, a way of seeing society as a community; a community of art, a community of passion, a community of culture.
Created by Larry Harvey, whom barbara calls a visionnary, the Burning Man attracts people from all over the world. Last September we talked with different people and it’s amazing to see how Californians react to the Burning Man. It seems to be a gathering of friendly easy going people.
Larry had this to say about Desert to Dream, the Barbara Traub book : "This book is a landmark. It does more than illustrate a so-called counter-cultural event. Rather, it exhibits the integrity and singleness of vision of a complete work of art...It does not merely display Burning Man in pictures or explain it in words: It manifests the spirit of our culture through its style."
Barbara’s Burning Man photo collection is great and will take you on a journey through this ephemeral world. Ethnicity, extravanganza, pop culture, erotism, nudity, free land : the Burning Man is something unique and the 2-part movie that we broadcast will take you to this new territory.
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Related item : Barbara Traub Part 2 (Burning Man and Beyond)