31 Reasons to Check Out Africa’s Burning Man

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.

[view original Buzzfeed post by Sarah Duff here]

1. You’ll get to feel like you’re on the set of Game of Thrones.

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.

And an extra from the set of Star Wars.

3. And feel like you could be starring in a Donnie Darko remake.

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.

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.

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.

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.)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Or sitting by yourself and gazing over the vast horizon.

15. Night skies are spectacular, especially when lit up by giant artworks and sculptures.

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.

Most days you'll have big blue skies and sunny weather.

17. But in the Karoo, even the dust storms are beautiful.

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.

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.

Or get a lift from the cheapest taxi you'll ever take.

20. Or on the back of a sequin-covered VW van.

Or on the back of a sequin-covered VW van.

21. Or inside an emoji.

Or inside an emoji.

22. You can dance on top of a rhino.

You can dance on top of a rhino.

23. Or under a top hat on a yellow German postal van called Judy.

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).

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.

You'll never run out of things to explore.

26. You’ll get to see someone actually looking good in a scout’s uniform.

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.

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.

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.

Some of whom you can smooch under the Kissing Tree.

30. There’s always something to be entertained by, like an impromptu slacklining performance.

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.

You'll get to realize that life really does imitate art.

Update From the Burner Front Lines of Afrika

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:

Burners in a Land Down Under

Burners in a Land Down Under…I didn’t know they had bears in Africa?

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.

 

It Began in Afrika

afrika burn africageographicBurning Man is starting to spread around the world, with Regional burns growing in other States of the US and other countries around the globe. We recently profiled the Aussie Burn, there’s a Kiwi Burn, but for some reason South America and Central America don’t have regionals yet. Anyway, the Deep South (so deep it’s on the other side of the Equator) are well represented with the largest of all the world’s regionals, Afrika Burn.

Here’s some great timelapse footage from this year’s Afrika Burn. Thanks to Burner Young Robert down under in Laguna for finding this one. You’re probably going to want to go full screen and click the HD button:

The movie was produced by @Riordan Allen and shot in gorgeous HD by Rory Allen:

The installations at AfrikaBurn usually have quite a short lifetime and with the huge amount of effort that is put into the planning, fundraising, building and eventual burning of these art pieces, we decided quite early on that this is what we wanted our film to focus on.

Now that looks like a proper Burning Man style party

Now that looks like a proper Burning Man party

Tankwa Town was our home for a total of 8 days as we formed part of The Toy Box campsite. We arrived 3 days prior to the start of the burn and found that not many of the installations were completed at this point. We spent the mornings shooting sunrises over the few installations that were completed and spent the days building geodesic domes, laying down colourful carpets and rigging lights and sound with friends and Toy Box leaders Andrew Wood and Travis Hyde.

We had no schedule as we decided to simply shoot when it felt right to do so. It was Rory’s second burn and my first and in order to experience it properly, we decided to let the festival dictate the schedule to us. Each day saw at least a few hours of shooting, except for the Friday, our only official day off, and over the 5 day festival Rory managed to shoot nearly 50 timelapses.

Unfortunately on the Saturday evening, the night of the main burn, we managed to loose a ziplock bag with 6 cards of footage. The cards contained a mass of footage, including most of the main burns and some day time installations. We spoke to everyone we could at the burn, posted all over social media and while everyone has been super helpful in getting the word out, the cards never managed to find their way back to us. We figure that someone without knowledge of what the cards were thought the bag was moop (matter out of place) and discarded it as rubbish.

While this severely affected our film we decided to put the edit out anyway. If the cards ever do turn up by some miracle, we may consider recutting the film but for now, this is our gift to all burners, especially the ones who built, burned and brought back x

Afrika Burn 2014 is April 28. We’re hoping to get down there next year with the Gooch Apparel crew.

There’s a ton more videos here, some great tunes in the soundtrack.