We just learned about an awesome annual festival called the Afrika Burns Creative Projects or AfrikaBurn. It’s an official Burning Man regional event which has been taking place in the desert of the Tankwa Karoo National Park in South Africa since 2007. Like Burning Man, attendees gather to create a temporary city of art, some of which is fantastically set ablaze at the festival’s end.
The regional event, which most recently hosted approximately 6,500 people, follows the same eleven guiding principles as Nevada’s famed Burning Man festival, encouraging “communal effort, decommodification and total expression of the self.”
The theme for AfrikaBurn 2013 was Archetypes. One of the festival’s most striking installations was South African artist Daniel Popper’s 9-meter-tall, 3 level wooden sculpture of a man, from the waist up, with arms outstretched, entitled Reflections. The center of the giant’s chest cavity was fitted with a custom LED infinity mirror heart with 17 different simulations programed by Justin Eastman.
Ever since Burning Man first sold out in 2011, there has been a scarcity mentality around tickets. Although the governing body of the festival has tried to mitigate scalping and push for a higher attendee limit, the reality is that as the event’s popularity continues to grow, some of us simply won’t get to go to Burning Man. So what’s a would-be Burner to do? Well, there are several alternatives to “That Thing In The Desert.” Some (Nowhere, AfrikaBurn) are “regionals,” officially recognized by the Burning Man Project. Others (Secret Garden Party, What the Festival) were inspired by their founders’ trips to the desert. Considering that the Individual Ticket Sale was over in 45 minutes this year, you may want to put some of these 11 festivals on a back…burner.
Monique Schiess and Robert Weinek are the founders of AfrikaBurn, a festival that takes place in the Tankwa Karoo. It is a blank canvas that participants project onto what they want, as such it is defined by those attending the event. For participants, it is a chance to “invent the world anew.”
The event is a an explosion of creativity, inventiveness, community, gifting, and civic mindedness. AfrikaBurn is going into its 7th incarnation and is an offshoot of the 25 year old Burning Man Festival that happens in Nevada, USA. Monique Schiess and Robert Weinek will be speaking at CreativeMornings/CapeTown this month.