With shared anxiety over the ecological and social collapse comes a social response in the creation and consumption of arts and entertainment. In the past few decades, there has been an uptick in dystopic themed books, graphic novels, television shows, movies, and on. Stories about futures where people are struggling to survive under desperate and dehumanized situations. It was only a matter of time before these shared tensions would result in a shared artistic expression based in a shared space.

Wasteland Weekend is a festival like none other. It is held annually in an extremely remote region north of California City in the Mojave Desert. It is here that a city is built overnight and this desolate region of the desert becomes a vibrant community. Based in a post-apocalyptic future, the aesthetic and attitude are largely based on the post-apocalyptic world of the Mad Max and Fallout franchise. The environment itself is hostile and extreme, taking place towards the end of summer.

Wasteland Weekend is an escape as well as a test. That if the worst came to be, that we could all find some way of surviving. That we would continue, and that this all just makes for good practice.

It’s all fantasy, but how it feels is what makes it real.

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Barbara Ellquist

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