Author Archives: Lauryn Soorani

Ghostly revenge

In 2011 my informant published a the book, The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses. The book’s 260 photographs were gathered by Dr. Koudounaris over the course of five years, during which he traveled to 70 different locations around the world, studying, visiting, and photographing charnel houses. Dr. Koudounaris’ travels took… Continue Reading »

Burning Man Initiation

My informant is a regular attendee of the Burning Man Festival. Burning Man is a weeklong festival held in the Nevada desert. It caps at 50,000 participants and is governed by 10 principals: radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation, and immediacy. The name “burning man” comes from the ritual… Continue Reading »