Theme Idea Winner 2023: Kent Allen

Theme Idea: Enchanted Roots

What first drew you to Burning Man and/or Element 11?

“Last year was pretty tough and I made some difficult changes in my life. One positive though was reconnecting with my long-time friend Taylor Cluff a.k.a. Captain Cook. I noticed a post of his about E11 and I asked him about it since I had never heard of it before. After watching some promo videos and talking to Taylor I knew that it was just what I needed to kickstart this new chapter of my life. Taylor came through and helped facilitate the best first burn experience I could have imagined.”

How many times have you been to E11 and/or Burning Man?

“2022 was my first time at E11, but will definitely not be my last! I also hope to go to the big burn some time in the near future.”

What is your favorite thing about E11?

“The community. Seeing how much time and love is put into E11 really makes me appreciate the whole thing even more. I first found out about E11 a few weeks before I went in 2022, so getting the perspective of going to town halls and seeing the amount of effort it takes to pull off will make this year that much more special to me.”

What inspired you to create the theme idea?

“This last year has been such an opportunity for growth for me and I think a lot of that has been thanks to embracing my roots again and being open to the magical experiences life has to offer. With last year being the Cosmic Carnival, I thought it was fitting to turn the focus inward and celebrate our Enchanted Roots.”

What is your most memorable moment at E11?

“Walking around the temple hours before the burn was a humbling experience. The amount of emotional energy tied to that beautiful structure was staggering. Through the handwritten notes and pictures, I felt connected to everyone who was celebrating or mourning, hopeful or lost. Watching the temple burn was the first time I was able to let go of a lot of weight I had been carrying around. On top of that, I had so many people around me place a hand on my back or shoulders during the burn and the amount of love I felt was amazing.”

How are you going to interpret this year’s theme at the event?

“Staying grounded and returning to the roots of what made my time at E11 so special last year. This year I have the opportunity to volunteer with E11 and the SophistaPirates and I look forward to helping make E11 a magical experience for others.”

What is your favorite principle and why?

“Immediacy. It is why burns are such a unique experience in my eyes. The culmination of so many things coming together to make an atmosphere unlike anything else and having the opportunity to be present in that is something special.”