Burning in Africa: AfrikaBurn 2013

AfrikaBurn greeters bell (photo by BettieJune)

AfrikaBurn 2013 — Burning Man’s official African regional Burn — is underway in Tankwa, South Africa. Now in its seventh year, AfrikaBurn is rightfully touted as “the spectacular result of the creative expression of a community of volunteers who, once a year, gather in the Tankwa Karoo to create a temporary city of art, theme camps, costume, music and performance!”

The event takes place May 1-6 on an expanse of remote desert in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa akin to the Black Rock Desert of Nevada (albeit a little more rocky), and its population has steadily grown since its inception … they’re expecting 8,000 participants this year.

Sculpture (Photo by Photokatz)

Founded and run under the guidelines of Burning Man’s 10 Principles, their mission statement states: “AfrikaBurn is a participant-created movement, an experiment in inclusive community building, decommodification, creativity, self-reliance and radical self-expression. It is a chance to invent the world anew.”

A small contingent of intrepid Burning Man staffers have made the long journey to AfrikaBurn this year to observe, learn, share knowledge, and join in the revelry, and they’re sending some pictures and stories along, which we’ll add to this post as they arrive. Here’s BettieJune:

Some factoids, they are expecting 8,000 today, a huge lift from last year. They have been doing a lot to grow their infrastructure to handle their growth. The winds have been going pretty strongly, with some shade structures blowing away. But everyone is pitching in, making sure to help everyone else.

Today is May Day, the South African version of Labor Day, and it’s a national holiday. There’s a big line of folks coming in to the event. It’s a hike to get here, it’s about four hours ish from Cape Town, and the last 113 kms are on a dirt and rocky road. We saw one shop offering drinks, etc. We stopped, and they were also selling costumes called “fancy dress”. They loved seeing us, and were incredibly excited about AfrikaBurn, and seeing the participants. They run their whole operation on solar power, and the building is half bar, half store. They invited us back for Friday, when they are doing a meat (lamb) and veggie curry.

And in a second dispatch:

Lots and lots and lots of burning here, approximately 32 burns are scheduled.

Art is a huge part of what’s going on here, with about 90 registered projects, and something in the neighborhood of 50 mutant vehicles.

Tonight is a concert with a piano underneath the Wattle Tower. It should be stunning. A project Burning Man funded last year, the Tunnel of Questionable Enlightenment is here, shining in all its glory. Also the Space Cowboys are here — the small alien sculpture is from the front of their camp. Participants seem to love the Space Cowboys wherever they go.

To get a better sense of the experience, take a look at AfrikaBurn’s beautiful photo and video gallery.

Compression, the AfrikaBurn temple (Photo by Photokatz)
Wattle Tower, made of contentious non-native plants which are choking out water from indigenous South African plants (Photo by Photokatz)
Wattle Tower (detail), made of contentious non-native plants which are choking out water from indigenous South African plants (Photo by BettieJune)
A Mutant Vehicle roams the AfrikaBurn encampment (Photo by BettieJune)
DMV licensing markings – orange for daytime use, yellow for nighttime (Photo by BettieJune)
Art bike (Photo by Photokatz)
Dancers at Dusk (Photo by Photokatz)
Burners at Play (Photo by Photokatz)
Theme camp (Photo by Photokatz)
Participants! (Photo by Photokatz)
Musicians (Photo by Photokatz)
Grater and cheese heart sculpture (Photo by Photokatz)
Artwork on the horizon (Photo by Photokatz)

 

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase first attended Burning Man 2001. He was Burning Man's Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004-2009, and the Operations Manager and member of the Art Council for the ARTery (Burning Man's art department headquarters in Black Rock City) from 2003-2008. In 2009, he transitioned into the Communications Department, where his responsibilities include global communication strategy, authoring the Jackrabbit Speaks Newsletter, content management for the Burning Man website, coordination of Burning Man's social networking efforts, and acting as editor for the Burning Blog. Tales of his sordid adventures can be found on his website.

41 thoughts on “Burning in Africa: AfrikaBurn 2013

  • man, that looks like fun.

    funny though, i don’t see a single african in any of those pics. still a white people thing even over there i guess

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  • I’m leaving in a few hours, despite our winter, it gets pretty heated in Tankwa Town (it’s in the Tankwa nature reserve +-4 hours outside of Cape Town)

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  • No – most of South Africa is not of English/white descent, most of WHITE South Africa is of Dutch descent, and about 40% of WHITE South Africa is of British descent. South Africa has a black majority. However, white South Africans are still, on average, more economically privileged than black South Africans – hence their presence at the burn. Of course the crowd is more mixed every year, and of course the event is inclusive (I also think that they give away some free tickets to some less privileged individuals), but yes, it is a privileged crowd in general, although this is NOT the event’s fault, but rather a hangover from apartheid. Just to clarify. These things take time. To be fair…

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  • …just back from AB 2013….a mammoth survival and spectacle. Huge praise for the organisers for a brilliant event and for putting out lots of controlled and uncontrolled fires!

    What an intense drive on thatdirt road! The longest straightest road in the Southern Hemisphere….which normally takes around 1 hour, took us 3 to get out!!…so many accidents and blow outs.

    All kinds of people there…this string of comments focussing on who and who doens’t go takes away a bit of the magic -it is what it is. It’ll grow and evolve.

    Looking forward to the sharing of pictures….
    Well done AfrikaBurn team!

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  • Just got back from AfrikaBurn, and once again one of the most amazing spectacle on the continent. People from all walks of life, all creeds and colors … one united African vibe … I met people form Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, truly African experience!
    Well done once again to the organizers, staff, volunteers and everyone who helped to make Ab the experience of the year.
    On Saturday it was close to 40 deg and thank you to people for sharing their water where required as there were some struggling fellow clan members!!
    Countdown will begin soon enough for 20let’s make the 10k mark!! :)

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  • Just got back from AB 2013. Afrika Burn is nothing like Burning Man at all. On the surface, it appears to be like BM – it has the same feel with artwork in open spaces, camps doing their thing, lots of creativity and night time parties. That’s where the similarities stop.

    Anyone having been to BM will understand the sense of love and openness that exists there. This does not exist at AB. I saw one stranger hugging another stranger and that was it on the hug front.

    We’re a closed suspicious culture and that plays out at AB, the commentators comparing AB to BM obviously haven’t been to BM. There is no comparison.

    Another thing that shocked me was the morning after the burn, the area around the main burn looked as if a rubbish truck had driven around it pouring it’s contents onto the ground as it went. It was disgusting. At sunrise last year at the ashpile of the Man, there was no rubbish to be seen. And that’s with 50,000 people watching compared to the 6-7000 people watching the burn at AB.

    My take on AB is that the people to not yet own the event. They see at as something put on for their enjoyment and because of this do not treat it as their own (hence the extreme pollution). BM evolved over 25 years into what it is today. AB missed that evolution and jumped staright into what BM is today without people getting what the values of BM are. AB is simply a party in the desert, it has no culture.

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  • @Sledger I chuckle at judgemental bias opinions that simplify and other the complex cultures and social dynamics of the other.

    Yes we have a problem with moop but our treatment of burn scars is completely different to yours. Colonialism is the projection of your values onto others and imperialism is the of hand dismissal of the nuances and agency of those others who so disgust you. To say AB has no culture is a crude and unsophisticated projection. I recommend more reflectivity and awareness to soften that bigotry.

    As to notions of whiteness and identity, as the head ranger at AB and someone who lectures in community development, South Africa is far more than black and white assumptions. Move beyond your hegemonic views people and maybe you will start to see the diversity.

    Oh and by the way the worse case of moop came from a visiting plug and play BM camp from New York who left approx 30 boxes of empty champagne bottles and 90 black bags of rubbish….

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  • @Ranger Bob,

    It’s bit difficult to understand all your sentences so not sure my reply will be a correct response…

    The “yes but” argument cuts no ice. It was disgusting. Period.

    Thanks for the definition of what imperialism and colonialism are ;). Being disgusted by moop is far from imperialism. Hope you can see that….

    There is no other here, I’m South African and live in Cape Town. I’m well aware of cultural and race dynamics in SA. These were once again on full display at AB from the sense of entitlement amongst the priviliged moopers, the more than occasional aggressiveness, to the young black kid next door to our camp who came back in tears because someone called him a derogatory word. Perhaps this all exists at BM but is difficult to see because of it’s size and easy to see because AB is smaller.

    Culturally I do feel it is lacking, it’s a homogenous mass. It’s an event in SA with saffers. Mostly white. We’re talking English, Afrikaans, foreign, Model C educated, non-Model C educated, etc – there’s not a lot going from a multi-cultural basis. Maybe I should have expected that but it was disappointing nonetheless. I was hoping for people to leave that shit at the door but they didn’t….

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  • @sledger gosh Fanon would have a fun time with you; I am surprised you see SA is such simple terms. I do agree about the entitlement but feel its felt across all identities as a by product of post apartheid projections of how we are all owed in and by this new South Africa.

    I’ve been here for 7 years and whilst AB is mainly a middle and up income bracket it is, from my humble perspective very diverse and representative of the braod range of counter cultures found in SA.

    Burns are cleaned the day after, the Clan specifically is way too hot to moop until after mid day and was being used by other participants to burn some of there left over wood. We have I feel too many burns, too many artists rather wanting to burn work more to dispose and not have to cart back than for the performance and ritual of burning.

    Behavioural change is slow work and the internalised shit is the hardest to leave at the door.

    And no Bubble and Base did not clean Burn moop; the bags were plain old assorted rubbish and the bottles a clear link to their camp. I guess for me I am wary of using the tired debunked nationalist trope to tar and feather people. Its individual identities that we must always work one. As Joseph Pred taught me in 2007 you move a crowd one person at a time. In the words of Nyerere I feel it is a case of “each one teach one”. We tackle moop awareness one person at a time.

    Oh and truth being subjective all replies are correct to the individual holding them ;)

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  • @sledger Our social and cultural backgrounds are vastly different so I do not think it is fair to even try and compare the two. Re the black/white issue; its a cultural thing not a race thing. Why force the issue. Some people like camping others don’t. Why bring people from disadvantaged communities to something they cannot relate to? Rather take what we create back into our communities where it is of use. This is what our outreach programs aim to achieve. We are a year round organisation and not just an event driven organisation. As for MOOP, there has been a massive improvement from the first few years. We are trying to educate people and that takes time. Please in the future leave your bias at the entrance and come with an open heart.

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  • @Ranger Bob,

    I do see it in rather simplistic terms given how powerful social and cultural conditioning is. Obviously there are many subcultures within a culture but I think SA has a handful of conditioning cultural narratives….

    Agreed on the entitlement across all identities in SA, hard not to focus on one identity when it was the predominant one at the burn.

    Perhaps a way to raise awareness is to require everyone buying a ticket to answer 3 questions before purchase is allowed? What is MOOP? Are glitter and feathers allowed? etc….

    My comment on the the moop was not a criticism of the organisers or the San Clan, but rather a comment on how the moop and how people don’t yet own the event. It’s something that stuck with me because I was shocked, especially given that it is a leave no trace event. Should I have been shocked? Probably not but I was nevertheless.

    @Bassie
    I agree with you to an extent…however, AB has the same principles as BM and is modelled on BM. Why then should it not be compared to BM?

    Not sure if your race comment is directed at me or the previous commentators?

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  • As a sort of Horlicks colored off milky white colored South African, I would love to give my ten cents to this interesting debate.(now just to clear this up are are we talking a particular color or a particular race here, because they are in fact two completely different things. I think you would be better off being bogged down in discussions on perhaps describing a country one hails from as Fab does in her thread above, rather than a color. A colour is of no use as a description in this rainbow nation of ours….I by the way saw many many shades of milky white all the way to black as the ace of spades with all colours of the rainbow thrown in.

    What I did see that made me gag in shock was the glampers in the camp next door to us who came in camper vans and tents made up as old fashioned kombis, called Kombination, who had actually bought domestic staff to clean their toilets and look after their poop moop…..now that is something I hope does not become part of the African burn culture!!!!!!!…..I think to them, radical self reliance was just staying in a camper van!

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  • the moop shocked us all-older burners , younger ones and even first timers….obviously not all of us…a problem that needs to be adressed and dealt with like a few other minor issues like “self gifting” and small acts of violence and disrespect towards others…BUT we should look at it overall-and overall it was a spectacular wonderful BURN,lots of hugging from strangers, lots of foreigners,lots of people of different backgrounds,races and all…surely predominant white -now one could say its a money thing-but that would totally ignore the fact that there are lots of cape coloureds with Money and African Saffas with Money-only a few opted to go to the burn-now the question is WHY? and there i have a simple answer-they were not interested as it is for most of them not their lifestyle and philosophy….so now to start a discussion about this is for me completely besides the point-if we change society with the Burning Culture(and I am sure we are doing this on a day to day basis ) sooner or later more and more people of all races will join in….and in general it shouldnt be a discussion at all as it once again just limits people to skin colour….

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  • You could burn for 50 more years and the crowd will still be majority of privileged white people. This shit makes no sense to the majority of the people just trying to survive.

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  • We take AfrikaBurn home in our hearts, luggage, clothes! Each year the awakened teach the new comers and slowly we learn to trust and understand, and the truth is that we are a country of people untrusting of authority, we have to learn social and enviro responsibility by example and it is happening, we cant compare it to Burning Man, we can only compare it to where we were when we started, and the changes and improvements on bringing the ‘extended Playa’ home grow wider and stronger every year and that is an achievement which shouldn’t be overlooked. We work on the Moop and the rest is already Magic!+

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  • bicker all you want. the defining quote of AB2013, for me, was from a newly made friend who said ” I’ve been black all of my life, but i’ve only just discovered what Ubuntu really means”. (overseas critics may have to google the interpretation)

    and that, for me, makes it all worthwhile and real :-)

    peace and love….

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  • Bishop Tutu:
    One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.

    Nelson Mandela:
    A traveller through a country would stop at a village and he didn’t have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food and attend him. That is one aspect of Ubuntu, but it will have various aspects. Ubuntu does not mean that people should not enrich themselves. The question therefore is: Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to be able to improve?

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  • Spike said: “funny though, i don’t see a single african in any of those pics”. There are white Africans just as there are black Americans. In fact white people have lived in that part of Africa for more generations than many of the black tribes that live there now.

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  • Afrikaburn is a truly great burn. I believe I saw a higher percentage of people of color at AB than at BRC. Although I agree that the moop issue is developing, I wish that 447 was as litter free as R355. In the 113Km I drove on R355 leaving the burn, I saw exactly 1 (one) plastic garbage bag, and 1(one) water jug. By contrast, every year I count 50-60 bags on 447 along with coolers, sleeping bags, suitcases, rugs, cooking equipment, etc.

    AB peeps put on a top notch event!

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  • Thanks so much to the organizers of Afrika Burn and the hard working participants who brought the festival to life.
    I have worked as a crew member at Kiwiburn, Nowhere, and Burning Man. This year I was honored to be part of the Afrika Burn DPW for 4 weeks. Out of all these incredibly driven groups the Afrika Burn DPW does the most work in the shortest time with the least resources under the harshest conditions, with the maddest smiles on their faces.
    They are still out in the Karoo closing down the site, moving equipment and resources to storage and making absolutely certain that no trace is left.
    My hat is off for the many weeks of volunteer labor put in by that dedicated group. They embody the spirit of community, participation and cooperation that makes Burns great.
    Oh, and the Rangers at AB are extra awesome too. Love ya Ranger Bob.

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  • As someone that camped with Bubbles and Bass, I want to apologize for the amount of MOOP that was left behind at our camp. Coming from so far away posed a unique set of logistical challenges and prior to the trip we were very concerned about how we would remove our MOOP post-Burn. So we hired a company to drive a truck out and assist us with MOOP removal. Unfortunately the truck was late and did not arrive before we had to leave for Cape Town to catch our flights, so we were not able to ensure that all the MOOP bags were properly collected. We are currently working with the organizers of AfrikaBurn to address the issue and make things right, but we also wanted to extend an apology to the rest of the AfrikaBurn community. We deeply regret that such an incident ever occurred.

    We also want to thank you all for a unbelievably fantastic Burn and hope to see some of you at the Bubbles and Bass camp at Burning Man this year!

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  • Spike, Sledger: Thanks for bringing up the issue of diversity. I’m frustrated as you are with homogeneous white middle class groups. Your comments began a good discussion on the issue.
    However, may I suggest a self -reliance, DIY approach? Bring your black and Mexican and Native friends to the Burn.
    And if you think people aren’t hugging enough: set up a hug station, or park yourself in front of popular sites as the unofficial doorman and and tell them they can’t get in without hugging a couple people. Or do it your own way, make a thousand hugs happen.
    ASO: I’m white, I’ve brought three black friends to Burning Man over the years. The first was a guy from a rough, poor neighborhood, who joked with me, on seeing people in the twilight in costumes and masks as we first entered: “Damn, man, what did you bring me to, a Ku Klux Klan meeting??”
    Four hours later, at Bianca’s Smut Shack on the edge of the burn, smoking a blunt, he said emphatically to me: “Dis…is da best place…in da world!!” He had a great time, and when he showed his pictures and told his stories to his friends back in the hood, they all wanted to go.
    Burning Man has universally attractive values, for all cultures; I don’t think people who are struggling to survive wouldn’t love it.
    To the organizers of Africa Burn: Yayy! Nice job! Keep up the good work. Black Rock Burning Man is going to keep being sold out early, with lots of people unable to go, until there are other week-long similar events around the world with 10,000 or more people. Seems like you have done the best job yet of creating that alternative. Awesome!

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  • In my opinion, the issue of inclusiveness is not tested by the number of participants from various cultural groups (or skin colors) who attend, but is tested by whether individuals from various backgrounds that chose to attend the event feel welcomed. The truth is that Burning Man and the various BM regional events are not going to appeal to most people. I attend so that I can fly my freek flag. I enjoy the relatively unrestrained creativity, and I like it that there are not many rules and that most of the time I have no idea what is coming next. I also enjoy the lack of commerce, the fact that the art is not formally judged or rated, and the absence of advertising and other intusions from commercial corporations. I like it, but most people I encounter in the default world are not interested in attending. That is their choice.

    I have attended Burning Man for the past 11 years and have meet enthusiastic participants with every shade of skin color and from a wide variety of cultures. Our camp bar has hosted groups speaking dozens of languages (Hebrew, multipe dialects of Spanish, continental and Bazilian Portugese, French, Japanese, Yiddish, and at least one Native American language to mention just a few examples).

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  • I see a lot of insightful comments here, let us not forget that with every criticism comes responsibility. AB is generated by participation. Also it’s young and growing, I would estimate about 1/4 to 1/3 new participants this year. So it’s culture is in it’s neotany. A perfect time for constructive ACTION. Also it’s something that requires a year’s worth of input to create. And we create it in ourselves to have something of value to share. So if one. Feels, for example, that the social cross section could be broader, then check who you are hanging with at home, make some new friends and bring them along. MOOP a problem… Need more hugs… We are these solutions, no use hiding behind a complaint.
    I Loved it

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  • this whole white black thing is so irritating. yes it’s been a lily white festival over the years i’ve been there but you need to understand, when i tell my black friends that i’m going camping in the middle of the desert, wearing ridiculous outfits and using dodgy longdrop toilets they look at me and say: that is such a white thing to do.
    discrimination has absolutely nothing to do with it. personal choice does.

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  • Hello to you all, wherever you are, from a kinda cold and wintry Cape Town! I’m a member of the Communications team for AfrikaBurn, and involved in a bunch of other ways (including the daily newspaper and part of a sound system crew). No dicksizing, just context.

    Down here in South Africa, we have (as you’d likely know) a considerable hangover of colonial and racial issues. It’s been nearly 20 years since Nelson Mandela became our president and the changes that our country has been through are massive, yet the process of social change is a slow one. And I mean this from both a cultural as well as economic perspective. It’s important – as Bassie touched on above – to remember with our history in mind that any attempt to force culture upon another person will always be viewed with suspicion, and be framed by the dynamics of our past.

    The AfrikaBurn community as a whole, and those involved in the organisation, are fully aware of this. Which is why efforts to make the event more racially representative are not forced, but rather rely on a person-to-person cultural spread. We invite people who express an interest, who are curious and wish to participate on their own terms. As a community, we’re not interested in forcing transformation – that’s not our culture. We simply create the space and provide the opportunity, and let the people decide how and when they wish to engage with AfrikaBurn. It’s all about every individual’s initiative and inclination. Which is, as I understand it, how Burner culture offers itself: to each their own, according to their interest.

    AfrikaBurn is only 8 years down the line, and as mentioned above by another poster, we have indeed jumped in at the deep end, without the benefit of 25+ years’ worth of Burner culture behind us. That said, everyone involved (both organisationally and in terms of participants who ‘get’ it) is doing their damndest to lead by example to ensure our culture spreads to the outer limits of our community to overcome the challenges we face.

    Among these are the obvious ones such as MOOP, serviced / plug ‘n play camps, spectating and pretty much all the same issues that BM has faced in its own evolution. For guidance, we do look to the trials and tribulations of those who have made Black Rock City and regionals the cultural force to be reckoned with that our culture has become. We obviously face many of our own particular challenges, but we have a saying here in Africa: ‘African solutions to African problems’, and we’re making good headway in realising practical ways which address the issues we face.

    So I’d respectfully ask that any generalisations be tempered with personal experience and understanding of the dynamics at play at AfrikaBurn. Just because you didn’t see many hugs, much openness or explicit nudity doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen – I saw it all, and then some. How could you not notice a beautiful woman carrying a huge ‘FREE HUGS HERE’ sign? Or a black guy carrying a great sign that read ‘DON’T PANIC – NOTHING’S UNDER CONTROL!’. As in ‘normal’ life, your attitude determines your perception, and your experience. If you’re looking for a whitewashed desert gathering where privileged people lose it for a week, you’ll see it. Equally, if you’re looking on the bright side, you’ll see the cultural melting pot that AfrikaBurn is.

    Love and hugs and dust in your scotch from way, way down south,

    Travis

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  • Interesting reading all the above – as an AB participant from Cape Town, it’s been noteworthy that I have been asked the black/white ratio question only by my overseas friends – none of my local friends have asked because the answer is so obvious – it IS a very white thing to do, but that doesn’t exclude anyone else from participating if they want to. That proportionally few South Africans of other races would want to goes without saying…..it’s kinda not yet their thing??

    You will however see as many indications of cross-cultural love, acceptance, inclusion whatever as you want to….AB2013 was attended by burners, humans, people.
    Period.

    If you want to waste your time dissecting who was who from which cultural group – go ahead, be my guest, but I am not paying much attention to your conclusions. I know that for myself and 7000 others it’s money better spent than on a ticket to see Usher, or Bieber or whatever US export might be the big thing; most of my countrymen feel differently though and would rate such a ticket more highly…

    Bubbles and Bass – understood and as far as I am concerned accepted. Awesome Sunrise beats – thanks!
    Ranger Bob – a million thanks, welcome back.

    It’s a burn folks, not politics – get over yourselves……?

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  • Well were do I start – first of by saying AB was fantastic – and then maybe by saying I am one of the organizers for Bubbles and Bass – and for the record I am actually South African – yes I live in the states – and have to say I really am saddened by people’s posts about Bubbles and Bass – fact is we left our MOOP packed up with someone who was meant to see it transported out of AfrikaBurn, a few hours after we left – one miscommunication led to another and we only found out about the MOOP pile that had grown and not been picked up and turned into a dumping ground on Tue – when we addressed and corrected the situation – we dont think MOOP is acceptable and did not intend to leave any trace – or not be self reliant – but things happened beyond our control once we found out we took responsibility and addressed it as best we could. However by that time it was too late and fair game to “demonize” the “American” camp, despite others taking full responsibility for the mess and acknowledging it was not our fault. Bubbles and Bass being at AfrikaBurn was my idea to share my love for Africa and AfrikaBurn with my friends and camp. It truly is disappointing to me how easy it is for people to point fingers – “plug and play” really ? Is that what a year of planing and weeks off work to make this happen is called ? Of course lets just forget the camps contribution to the community @ Jiggz thanks for ackloadging our gift. But it seems it is far easier to point fingers blame the “Americans” or the ” plug and play ” camps than to rather find out what really happened. For any that make huge effort to travel and support another burn on a different continent I sincerely hope that you are welcomed with more open arms than the negativity generated.”

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