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Communal Effort. Illustration by Gabi Bruhnso

AfrikaBurn is an official Burning Man regional event, held in the Tankwa Karoo, in the Western Cape Province of South Africa since 2007. It is centred on the construction of temporary artworks in a semi-desert environment, some of which are burnt towards the end of the event. The Guiding Principles of the event stem directly from Burning Man.


Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.


We value civil society. Community members who organise events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavour to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with national and local laws.


In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

AB 2007 - Building the first Tribe. Image by Jeanine Jooste.


The real magic of this event lies within participation. A spectator attitude will deprive you of that warm fuzzy feeling you've heard about. Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.


Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.


We are devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

MOOP (matter out of place): Cigarette butts. Glowstick connectors. Matches. Bottle caps. String. Bedazzlers. Bindis. Glitter. Toilet paper. Napkins. Shells. Nuts. Straw. Cable-ties. Wood. Splinters. Nails. Screws. Polystyrene (from split bean bags). Peach pips. Bamboo. Orange peels. Naartjie peels. Lemon rind. Beads. Plastic flowers. Batteries. Broken LED’s. Finger lights. Feather boa scraps. Food scraps. Rice grains. Muesli. Pasta. Broken glass. Duct tape. Electrical insulation tape. Straw. Mirror ball fragments. Cigarette packets. Tampons. Condoms. Sequins. False eyelashes. Lighters. To name but a few.


Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavour, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

Radical Self Expression. Image by Berry Wessels.


AfrikaBurn encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.


Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.


Everyone should be able to be a part of AfrikaBurn. As an intentional community, committed to inventing the world anew, we actively pursue mechanisms to address imbalances and overcome barriers to participation, especially in consideration of past, current and systemic injustice. We welcome and respect the stranger. Anyone can belong.


As a self-reliant community, we believe the responsibility of spreading our culture lies with each and every one of us. All of us are custodians of our culture – when the opportunity presents itself, we pass knowledge on.


These principles aren’t commandments, and they’re not rules – they are ideals that offer guidelines to how we as a community can reinvent the world, and ourselves. They are designed to enhance your experience in Quaggafontein as well as live in harmony with your fellow burners. In summary, don’t be kak, just be lekker.