It’s almost time for the Afrikaburn Festival that takes place on Stonehenge Farm in the Tankwa Karoo, Northern Cape. The festival takes place this year from 25 April-1 May and is the ultimate invitation for “free expression” against a lunar landscape – where mutant vehicles, enormous structures, glorious, living and breathing artworks, live music, performance and dress-up are the order of the day.
Inspired by the Burning Man Festival in Black Rock, Nevada, USA – Afrikaburn is based on the same set of guiding principles. These principles create the backdrop for a fantastic party atmosphere and the most fun you can possibly have in the desert, these include Radical Inclusion (everyone is welcome and community is king); Decommodification (no advertising, commercial sponsorships or even money changes hands); Self reliance (everyone has to bring their own shelter, tents, water, food); Radical Self-Expression (want to dress up like Mad Max, Godzilla, a slimy frog or Freddie Mercury – really, anything goes…) – if you take a look at the gallery we put together from a previous Afrikburn, you’ll see what we mean.
Communal effort and community is at the heart of the event, and Tankwa Town – a makeshift city where unlimited creativity gets to play out against the huge Northern Cape skies. Participation is at the heart of the event and events are taking place all across the desert during this time – including the “burns” that are a highlight of the event.
Leaving no trace is another key guiding principle, which means that everyone who visits Afrikaburn has to respect the environment and take everything back home with them and leave the area as pristine as they found it.
The barter economy is the means of trade at Afrikaburn and the only thing you can actually buy is ice. Which is a good thing. So when the mutant vehicles and mirage-like apparitions and dressing up becomes a bit too much, at least your gin and tonic will be nice and cold.
Each year has a specific theme and according to the Afrikaburn website: “This year’s theme is X: the Roman numeral that signifies the number 10 and the letter X that represents an open signifier. It’s a time for both backward reflection and an imagining of possibilities and futures. With the tenth incarnation of Tankwa Town in 2016, contemplate a decade of the evolution of Afrikaburn; pay homage to what has been and to entertain the possibilities of what’s yet to come.”
Wishing all the Afrikaburn journeymen and women same passage, and see you on the flipside.