Last year we brought you news of a program to do something useful that alsoaddresses the problem of
hundreds thousands of Burner bikes that get dumped on the Playa each year.
Well, good news, Burners: it worked. They sold 400 bikes to Burners and have shipped a container full of bikes to Africa. It’s great to hear about a Burner-generated initiative that is actually making a difference in the world.
With a little more support, something lasting can now be created to support the bikes and the lifestyle they enable.
Burner Lily says:
Last year we sold 400 bikes to Burners, and now we successfully have sent a container of pre-loved Burner Loop Bikes to Namibia which is a huge achievement! But to make this a real success story we need to complete our last stage of the project by offering crucial on ground support and empowerment over in Namibia next month.
We have launched a crowd funding campaign recently to raise money to achieve some awesome bike related projects like turning the shipping container into a bike workshop, building a BMX track, working with communities to understand their needs and improve the Loop Bike, and making a documentary to expose the need for mobility in places like this.
You can check out the campaign here:https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/loop-cycles-bikes-empowerment-to-people-in-need/x/9466290#home
We finally got BMOrg’s official Afrika Burn coverage yesterday – the event took place in April. Although it’s the second largest Burner event in the world, it’s evidently not as big of a priority to BMOrg as book club discussions about the Death of God or art in their new office. We’re still waiting to hear their take on what happened at Midburn in Israel last weekend – the promoters paid for 2 BMOrg staffers to attend for “ranger training”. Apparently this doesn’t include posting photos online, maybe they still have to work out who owns the photos (or, more precisely, their future royalty stream).
Personally, I prefer this Afrikaburn summary from Buzzfeed – 31 Reasons You Have To Check Out South Africa’s Burning Man Before You Die. Great photos. I am super-keen to get to Afrika Burn, hopefully next year.
1. You’ll get to feel like you’re on the set of Game of Thrones.
2. And an extra from the set of Star Wars.
3. And feel like you could be starring in a Donnie Darko remake.
4. You can dance in the arms of a multi-storey-high wooden man.
5. And spot wildlife on the long dirt road to the middle of nowhere in the Karoo Desert.
6. You can cheer along with thousands of other people when he is burned.
7. And send a postcard anywhere in the world or to someone else at AfrikaBurn (and it will be hand delivered to their tent.)
8. At AfrikaBurn, gin and tonics come with a kiss from this German bar man.
9. You’ll get life-affirming messages from lemurs on the dance floor.
10. You’ll feel like dancing by yourself in gold tights in the desert is more than acceptable.
11. You can hang out at an apres-ski bar without having to touch snow.
12. Karoo sunsets are some of the most beautiful in South Africa.
13. And are best taken advantage of by dancing on a pop-up dance floor with hundreds of other dressed up people.
14. Or sitting by yourself and gazing over the vast horizon.
15. Night skies are spectacular, especially when lit up by giant artworks and sculptures.
16. Most days you’ll have big blue skies and sunny weather.
17. But in the Karoo, even the dust storms are beautiful.
18. You can ride around on the most badass VW beetle you’ve ever seen.
19. Or get a lift from the cheapest taxi you’ll ever take.
20. Or on the back of a sequin-covered VW van.
21. Or inside an emoji.
22. You can dance on top of a rhino.
23. Or under a top hat on a yellow German postal van called Judy.
24. If you’re bored of traveling by bicycle or mutant vehicle you can go windsurfing (without the surf).
25. You’ll never run out of things to explore.
26. You’ll get to see someone actually looking good in a scout’s uniform.
27. You can save a lot of money on a conventional wedding and get married at a mass purple wedding in the desert instead.
28. You’ll make a lot of new friends, who’ll probably be in your new Facebook cover photo.
29. Some of whom you can smooch under the Kissing Tree.
30. There’s always something to be entertained by, like an impromptu slacklining performance.
31. You’ll get to realize that life really does imitate art.
Burning Man’s Social Alchemist Bear Kittay is on a mission to attend as many regional Burns as he can. Seeing them all in a year is about as likely as seeing everything there is at Burning Man in a week. He has made it to Afrika Burn this year, and he reports that it blew his mind:
Afrikaburn this year was unlike any “regional” I’ve been to, or even like Afrikaburn was last year, to me. This year saw a city of 10k people gather in the Tankwa, much more racial and societal diversity, magical art all around, a powerful sense of purpose and unity. I’m still reeling in the experience, this was as powerful as any Playa experience I’ve ever had. Hit me by surprise, kicked my ass, made me cry, I’m full of a new wind of purpose — this Burning Man culture is working… FAST, in places that are working hard to right injustice and move into a better future. The “jaded” burner and “apathetic” burner seem to not really exist here, there is an immediacy to this culture here in South Africa that spreads from the 1% to the townships. Can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow during the elections (20th anniversary of the end of apartheid). Inspired by all the stories…
We look forward to hearing more of Bear’s adventures when he gets back home, if they’re not on the official blog or Afrikaburn site, we’re happy to write about them here.