Afrikaburn: the man is burning not only in Nevada

There is a wonderful festival in South Africa, called Afrikaburn. Did you know this?

An interview with Travis, a staff member, so cool!
After many weeks where every media talked about the famous and very big festival “The Burning Man” in the Nevada desert, we want to change and talk about another interesting festival in another country. I don’t know how many of you had never heard about a similar event in a desert of South Africa called Afrikaburn.
With a little bit of difficult, finally I succeded to have an interview with a staff member Travis of Afrikaburn that explain us what is this festival and why it is so important in a particular environment like south Africa. Short and to the point.

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J: Can you describe the event, what happen during these days and what kind of organization it have?

T: AfrikaBurn is the official Burning Man regional in Africa, and takes place every year over the last week of April on Stonehenge Private Reserve in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. It has been running since 2007, and featured 12 000 participants at the 2016 event. As with other regional burn events, the AfrikaBurn event consists of a city that is created by participants who bring everything they require for the event duration, and take it all away again. It’s an ongoing experiment that is informed by a set of 11 principles, which are the same as those which inform Burning Man (with an additional principle added).

The organisation consists of a small number of permanent staff, and a number of other staff members who work on the events over event periods. The organisational structure consists of Members, who are volunteers that play an oversight role and vote on big decisions, and a small group of Directors who co-ordinate the organisation as a whole.

J: Why “AfrikaBurn” is born?

T: Over the years 2000 – 2006, many South Africans participated in Burning Man in the USA. On coming back to South Africa, many of them started to plan the same kind of event, and began to collaborate. This led to the first event being held in 2007.

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J: Do you think that is important for South Africa to have a festival like this? Why?

T: It’s important because within a burn environment, people are given the opportunity to create artworks, camps and many other kinds of content – in the absence of money or brands. So, the space acts as a free zone where you can be whatever you want to be, without judgement.

J: As we can know throught journal, political website etc, black and white community are still a little bit in trouble in South Africa. How this festival can help in join/unify this two communities?

T: The event performs a role of providing a space for people to find their community – and this has also become a place where the differences of the past between black and white fall away, so people can simply be. Over the past 5 years, this has meant a greater diversity of people coming to the event, which is working in a small way to overcome the challenges of the past.

JESSICA STELLA

Credits ©  Jonx Pillemer