The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version

(A shot from the bushline in 2014 feat. Subterrafuge (L) and Wattle Tower (R) by Jonx Pillemer)

The wind whips wild amongst the soetdoring down the end of 10ish, where once upon a whomp we all did Play. In the distance the wiry twists of the |Xam temple sings sighs against the setting sun. Night falls and everything is empty, cold and bright under the distant fire of the stars. Jakkals yelp where whoops were once heard and in every direction the desert floor is filled only with the pulse of seeds swelling, waiting for rain and the trigger spring brings. No sign or suggestion of the camps, art nor crowds. No sign of the mutants, no bass notes, nor rebar. Not so much as a smudge of smoke on the wind or a snatch of chat. And why?

Because we Leave No Trace.

In this newsletter:
- D.E.A.R
- THEME 2018

(A whole lot of work went into designing this glorious map - and we have Guillaume Vagrante, volunteer mapmaker, to thank for it)

Leave No Trace? Turns out, some of us do. Some, more than others. But 3 weeks after you hauled ass back into this strange & bewildering place called the 'real' world, no trace remained. And for that, we owe the many LNT volunteers that stayed on to pitch in and pick up every. Single. Last. Scrap. or anything left behind on the desert floor. And not just the area where our temporary city of art and experiments once stood, oh no: along the whole of the R355 between Calvinia and Ceres too. 

Yes folks, this year's MOOP Map is in - and some of it ain't pretty. In fact, some of it is downright straight shitty. Literally. There are a few red spots that won't see the same camps return. There are quite a few orange spots too - and that's also a way for Theme Camps to screw themselves over. But there are also loads of green patches - and to those responsible for taking care of their patch, we say thank you, very much.

Interested in finding out what the issues were this year - and how you can help us to ramp up the green in the map?

CLICK HERE to see this year's Moop Map - and also the spreadsheet of LNT data that was recorded.

Huge thanks to everyone involved in compiling this year's map!

   (Danie Nel & Francois Kruger, 2011, as shot by Jonx Pillemer)  



As in 'doe, a deer, a female deer'? Nah - this is a whole different kettle of piranhas. D.E.A.R is the newest acronym in our universe - and its purpose is to ramp up our environmental efforts, both in the Tankwa and beyond. Fresh out the gate and raring to go, this new portfolio's name stands for 'Department of Environmental Action and Regeneration' - and it's the new home of our Leave No Trace and MOOP efforts, and everything else related to our plans to treat Mother Nature in the most respectful way possible. After all, no good kid treats their mother badly if they know what's good for them - and we are all her kids.

D.E.A.R. has a whole lot of plans and schemes up its sleeve which will roll out this year and next, and also in the dust - and if you'd like to read up more on what it is and does,
head to this new page on our site.

If D.E.A.R. sounds like something you'd like to get involved in, mail


THEME 2018

The theme for next year is, like life (and the thing in the desert) what you make it. We're not screwing around: the theme actually is 'Working Title____________' - and by being so open-ended, it places the direction and substance of it right back in your hands. Which, when you think about it, is pretty much in line with the self reliant ethic that everything we do is underpinned by. Want some more reading material to exoplain the 2018 theme? The Theme page is this way.

But as this is an environmentally-focused Baardskeerder, we have some suggestions: get together with your campmates and consider creating your own theme, one that's focused on Leave No Trace & energy. Take your camp and energy plans up a notch and towards greener pastures. Investigate 12V power and how you can source renewable energy on site. Leave your gennie at home next year - get wise and go solar, or go with wind power (hell knows, there's no lack of either sun or wind out there in the Tankwa). Maybe figure out how to smelt aluminium or make briquettes out of cardboard waste. Develop some MOOP innovations - and teach them to others.

It's all up to you - and there's loads of time. Good luck - let us know what you have in store!


                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Confession time at the VuvuStasie, 2017, shot by Jan Verboom)


We recently released the results of our post-event survey, and damn, does it have some interesting stats. But for our D.E.A.R. team to start getting a sense of just how much traction all of our repeated Leave No Trace and environmental messages have gotten over the years, they've created a Confessions & Confirmation booth online - and you right there, sinner or saint, can step in and whisper your sweet MOOPy nothings into it.

Take a crack at it - it's completely anonymous, and you couild quite possibly emerge feeling a little lighter for it.

Sinners & Saints, step into the booth right here.



We're a growing community that doesn't sit on its ass expecting others to make a difference in the world. Over the years there have been numerous initiatives across South Africa driven by burners - and this is only set to grow, with the introduction of Spark Grants this year. We're happy to say that a large number of people stepped forward to apply for seed funding for a wide range of projects. Of those, 11 projects have been awarded funding - and we're really happy to note that many of the Spark recipients have chosen to focus on environmental issues.

To check out the full list of Spark Grant projects that were awarded funding this year,
head to our Outreach News page.



In May this year, a road accident on the R355 claimed the life of Tinarwo Chakurira and severely affected his close friend Ainord Mwanakwayae, in a collision with a vehicle that had been at our main event in the Tankwa. In support of those affected by the accident, we started a donation drive - and to date, that drive has generated R187 000. In support of Ainord's physical and psychological therapy, and to provide support for Tinarwo's young daughter, we as AfrikaBurn are matching those funds. We've facilitated the setting up of an independent trust to distribute the funds - and have also lodged a Road Accident Fund claim on behalf of the victims. To manage the legal matters around these, members of our community in the legal profession have stepped foward to offer their time and skils as a gift. To them we send sincere thanks. 

This incident has affected numerous members of our community, and also our own crew. Our team are now analysing every possible means at our disposal to ensure road accidents in 2018 are radically reduced. This includes meeting with concerned members of our community, and also with local and regional traffic and transport authorities. In addition to road safety, greater efforts will also be made to keep the R355 as free of litter as possible.

So expect a whole lot more signage next year: and also expect to be stopped on exodus: we'll have a team of volunteers in place that will convery road safety info and also check your load so that your vehicle stands no chance of shedding anything on your way home along the R355.  

We're all in this together - and only together can we make the journey safe, and clean.




The Clan's our effigy, our identity - and it occupies centre stage in Tankwa Town every year. But did you know that you could design it, and build it? It's true - and we're calling out for your ideas. If you're a little intimidated by the idea of actually building it yourself, don't stress: design and build don't necessarily have to be achieved by the same person, or teams. So, got an idea in you for a Clan for next year's event? We want it - and are calling out for it! 

Head to the Clan Callout page on our site to read up about how the process works and how you can submit your plans, designs or ideas.



That whole city of art and experimentation and fire and dust? You build it, and you break it down and cart it all away - and you could also say that it's in fact built on the spirit of participation and volunteering. It's a city of volunteers - and the spirit of that volunteering extends out here into the default world, throughout the year at events like our Decompression (which was absolutely fucking fabulous and if you didn't make it, you missed out) and also Streetopia (yes, it's on again - keep an eye out for those announcements). Beyond our events, we keep it rocking at volunteer days too - and they happen every third Saturday of the month.

Keen to keep your finger on the volunteering pulse?
Click this way to be magically spirited to our Volunteers page on the big blue weapon of mass distraction.

Not on Facebook? Mail for more info on upcoming dates and gatherings. 




Last night in Cape Town, around 100 lucky people were privy to the premiere of a short film about this year's event. Created by the GKC crew and collaborators, 'Copper Ashes' is a spectacular slice of atmosphere, art, dust and fire - and we recommend you wrap your eyeballs around it sharpish.

Get some popcorn, expect goosebumps and prepare to be blown away:


Now listen here - when we say we want your content here in the Baardskeerder or on the Binnekring Blog, we mean it with bells on. Got content? Hit our Newsletter Submission form for that jazz, or mail

Travis Lyle
Minister of No Fancy Title

Still reading? Jeepers creepers, where'd you get those peepers? Tell you what, seeing as they've got legs, those eyes of yours, here's a little something else cooked up by the GKC crew which will similarly generate goosebumps for you: 'Burn: an Afrikan Experience'. Enjoy.


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