Were we always in prep mode for an apocalypse? And could it be that now is the time that those 11 underlying principles come to the fore, and inform ways that we can step up and take on the challenges of the new normal? It seems so - and in this edition of the newsletter that's usually about that thing in the desert, we now bring you news about things that are happening away from the desert we all know and love, but are nevertheless bringing our community spirit alive.
In this newsletter:
- CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY COMES ALIVE
- HOMEBURN MAY 2nd & 3rd
- REMOTE BURN May 15 - 17
- TANKWA TOWN 2021: TOWN PLANNING
- THE LOCKDOWN DRAWING PROJECT
- FROM THE VAULT
- READING TIME
CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY COMES ALIVE
These are crazy times and with them come many challenges, which are being felt across all strata of society - but it's through the cracks that the light gets let in, so we're happy to report that there are a number of initiatives being undertaken by members of our community that are bringing light and love to places where it's needed most.
(DJ TwoBurner and crew, helping where it's needed most, Vrygrond, photo: Kevin Kgara Rack)
BURNERS ON THE FRONTLINE
Over in Muizenberg, both Kevin Kgara Rack (San Camp honorary member) and DJ TwoBurner (aka Asanda, who was the stage manager for the Afroboratory Stage at Streetopia Obs 2019, and part of the Esomoya Isitimela crew in Tankwa Town last year) have been wrangling emergency food supplies and personal protective equipment, and also emotional and medical support, for the folks of Vrygrond. Working hand in hand with the Muizenberg Community Action Network, Kevin and Asanda have been volunteering their time to help deliver much-needed supplies to those that need it most at this time.
Providing more info about what these two dust lovers are doing in their area, Kevin's written up a piece that we've just published on our blog, and also provides details on how you can assist with a donation of supplies, or with a donation of funds to keep the deliveries rolling:
Find out more about relief efforts in Vrygrond thanks to burners and the Muizenberg CAN right here.
(Masi Creative Hub Safe Packs being distributed / photo: Yandiswa Mazwana)
AMAZING MASI CREW COMES TO THE FORE
Over in Masiphumelele, community leader Yandsiwa Mazwana and the Masi Creative Hub crew have been feeding kids at 4 stations across the kasi. Yandi's a face that you would like to have bumped into in the dust, having been part of many intercultural artworks at AfrikaBurn including the eMzantsi Carnival / Projekt Ubuntu in 2012, E-Fishy in 2014, the Flamin' Amazing Show in 2015, Collabyrinth in 2018, AfriKhayalethu in 2019 - and also significantly involved in our Blank Canvas Express arts roadshow in the Northern Cape in 2018. The Masi Creative Hub was also a Spark Grant Recipient project in 2017 - and we're blown away by the work she and her crew are doing on the ground.
They're presently operating from 5 sites in Masiphumelele, supporting 700 kids daily - and need donations to keep their rollout of much-needed food items, and also stuff that keeps kids active at home (like pencils, crayons, scrap books and general stationery). Got a love for the work that Yandi and the Masi crew are doing?
Click on over this way to show your support and love!
(Click the image to see People Of Love's video, created by Annie Le Roux)
PEOPLE OF LOVE SHOWING COMMUNITY SPIRIT
Outside Plettenberg Bay, burner Annie Le Roux (who's been significantly involved in Outreach related activities over the years in the Tankwa Karoo and beyond) is part of the People Of Love team who have stepped up to assist largely Griqua community of Kranshoek, where unemployment during lockdown has hit households hard and seen many families struggling to find food. People Of Love's solution? A daily Soup Kitchen On Wheels, which started feeding 50 kids on the first day, and is now seeing upwards of 400 kids and elderly folks per day.
Feeding 400 humans a day doesn't come cheap, but Annie and her team are determined to continue assisting the folks of Kranshoek - and you can assist them, by stepping up with a little spare change that will make a big difference.
Watch the People Of Love video here to see the great work they're doing - and click here to make a donation.
(Vuyo Mayesa - burner, and all-round good guy, bringing joy where he goes)
BRINGING THE DUST ALIVE IN DITSHOSWANE
In Ikhutseng in the Northern Cape, burner Vuyo QRasVu Mayesa (who was our Blank Canvas Express Northern Cape Co-ordinator in 2018 and 2019) is the guiding light at the Ditshoswane Community Art Centre. His community arts initiative has also been a recipient of our Get A Hand Up Grant in 2019. Vuyo is now making a difference in his community as they face shortages of food in the face of lockdown, and to continue assisting community members he needs all the help he can get.
To enable Vuyo to continue providing the Ditshoswane community with relief under lockdown, head to the Ditshoswane Community Arts Centre Facebook page and reach out with your offer of support (or give him a call on 061 970 9545).
GIFTING KICKS UP A NOTCH IN SIR LOWRY'S PASS
Over in the Sir Lowry's Pass area, burners have been coming together to assist their local community, as Community Action Networks in the area provide food relief to those that need it most (at a time when govermnent aid hasn't yet met the need of people on the ground). DMV veteran Erica Inches has stepped up and joined the dots - and her efforts are seeing loaves of bread gifted to the hungry, and boxes of veggies paid forward to the same.
To assist with gifting loaves of bread, you can send a Shoprite Grocery Voucher to +27 83 362 2443 - and to pay it foward with a veggie box, you can order these at Central Mini Market via WhatsApp on +27 82 566 5560.
(Food on the march, at Workshop Ko Kasi in the Northern Cape)
KICKING ASS IN KURUMAN
If you followed the progress of our Blank Canvas Express last year, you'd have seen that our arts workshop roadshow made a stop at Mothibistad in Kuruman, at The Workshop Ko Kasi, where Mpho Cornelius and her team were our hosts and creative collaborators on the fourth BCE tour. Mpho and The Workshop Ko Kasi crew are now rolling out efforts to assist members of their community by helping out with gifts of clothing and food. As Mpho herself says, "food packages are a temporary solution" - but at this time, they're the difference between members of the Mothibistad going hungry or not.
Got some gifting in you that you'd like to share? Fantastic - show Mpho and The Workshop Ko Kasi crew some love - contact Mpho on 081 289 2662 / 071 866 3517 (or email her on [email protected]) to chat about ways that you can connect and assist.
HOMEBURN - May 2nd & 3rd
Round about now, in a 'normal' year, many folks (including DPW) would already be on site in the Tankwa, prepping - but this isn't a normal year - and so we're not gethering this time round. But that doesn't mean we can't still gather - so to bring us all together, even if remotely, we're hosting HomeBurn!
HomeBurn's an experiment that brings together all the many activities that our community's known for - and it's all going to be online, with our team playing host to a range of live and pre-recorded streams featuring mini-burns, artworks, discussions, show & tells and a bunch of music. HomeBurn will even feature a Clan and Temple Burn - both at the time they would have been staged in the dust: 8pm on each day of the weekend.
Is it going to be unpredicatble, experimental and loads of fun, just like the thing we do in the desert? Hell yes it will - if you're involved! Got an activity that you'd like to contribute? Fantastic - see below for how you can register your event or activity, and let's see how we can bring it together!
When: Saturday May 2nd & Sunday May 3rd
Where: Online (take a look at the HomeBurn website)
Register: Click here to register your activity or event
Event page? Click on over this way
SUBMIT YOUR WORDS FOR THE TEMPLE BURN DURING HOMEBURN
This year would have seen the 'Gaia's Song' artwork play the role of our Temple in Tankwa Town - and though that won't be happening in the dust, the Temple team are still staging a burn, which will be streamed online - and you have an opportiunity to add your words to the Temple structure, just like in Tankwa Town. Here's word from Carmel Ives, lead on the Gaia's Song project:
Gaia is singing
Her words in the whirls of the winds
Her melody in the heartbeat and breath of every living being
Let us heed her illsutrious beautiful call,
To commit to her care
To honour all life
And to seed a world where love is all
Gaia's Song is a sacred space, for the celebration of life and the co-creation of a healing song between Humanity and Mother Earth. You are invited to submit your letters, drawings, poems, songs, messages, wishes and dreams to be included in the Temple Burn on 3rd May 2020 during HomeBurn. A smaller version of the Temple is being built, and will be revealed on 27th April 2020.
Please send your contribution to our email address, or leave a message on our Facebook or Instagram:
Email: [email protected]
Facebook page: click here
BUT WAIT - THERE'S MORE!
Ahead of the May 2nd & 3rd HomeBurn schedule, members of our community and team have come together to host some burn-week activities, which will be streamed online this Tuesday, 28th of April. Check it out:
5pm - MiniKring Burn by the DMV Collective
6pm - BURN: The Hat (Larry Harvey Tribute, by Dale Calder / ArtCom)
7pm - DPW Burn, by H
To find these streams on the day, watch our HomeBurn Facebook page.
Round about now, you'll be getting a sense that the wider global burner community is reaching out across the divide of lockdown and isolation, to stay connected - and one great example of this is the work that the Remote Burn crew are doing. It's a community-organised effort that's going to be bringing together a wide range of creators, camps, talent and burners from across the globe - and it aims to connect Regionals and the Burning Man community.
On the dates, Remote Burn will feature about 12 rooms that stream and provide interactive content non-stop for 3 days with a deiverse programme, just like in the dust. The team involved will curate the content to the best of their abilities - and they're looking to the AfrikaBurn and Burning Man community to help pull it off, with acitivities already registered from a range of camps including Vagabonds Spa, Why Not, Project Heart, Rumi's Tea House and more. Want to be a part of it? Register your camp on their website!
Registration for camps & participants HERE.
Check out the Facebook event page HERE.
(Tankwa Town 2019 by...We Actually Have No Idea But If This Is Your Shot, Do Let Us Know - We Will Try Harder Next Time)
TANKWA TOWN 2021: TOWN PLANNING
Here's word from our Town Planning team, on what lies ahead - and how you can provide your input into the thinking around what Tankwa Town could look like in 2021:
So, what do you do when you have a gap year and a beautiful new blank canvas for 2021? Besides taking mental trips around Tankwa Town? You start the Town Planning for Tankwa Town Quaggafontein!
Our team have many ideas and some plans - but we also want to hear yours. Have a think about how you inhabited that space called Tankwa Town (or that space inhabited you)…what worked what didn’t work…did you find yourself wondering the Binnekring not knowing where you were? Do you know that the roads are named for the theme in alphabetical order? There are loads of elements that we take into consideration when planning Tankwa Town.
Give us any feedback here on any aspects….you don’t have to come with the full solution we are curious about any tiny little thing that you have felt/experienced/observed. These are some (not all) of the things we consider:
• Placemaking/Sense of place: neighbourhoods, boulevards, Ramblas, plazas, spaces for play, habitats for all ages,
alleyways, Theme Camps. optimising viewpoints for major artworks.
• Heritage. Memorial/Commemoration. The views!
• Siting and planning OCC, DPW, medics and Sanctuary. Gate. Airport. Fire Services. Rangers.
• Sanitation, more regular spacing of toilets.
• Orientation, navigability and landmark elements.
• Quiet and Loud zones.
• No-go areas.
• Road and camping site layouts
• Wind direction, quantity and location, accessibility and serviceability.
• What are the opportunities in having a larger area?
Got feedback and suggestions? Fabulous - send those in:
CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT OUR TOWN PLANNING FEEDBACK FORM
For more info on what goes into the town planning aspect of building a temporary city in the desert, check out Dr. John Steele's published paper on urban design and performing land art right here.
('Weathervane III' artwork illustration, by Chip Snaddon)
THE LOCKDOWN DRAWING PROJECT
Our Art Committee are coming up with creative ways to meet the challenges of lockdown - here's word:
"Artcom has been busy meeting and coming up with all sorts of ideas around what having a gap year gives us time to do. As you may know, Creative Grants will be honored for the 2021 event (if there is one, but thats up to government, and for now we are planning as if it is happening) but there is a high likelihood that we will not have a Creative Grant pot available for the next event.
So we are going to get down and dirty like the old days and do some fundraising activities so that we can create a kitty of sorts that can be used to assist creative crews in the next round. One day when we are allowed to gather again, we are going to have some humdingER gatherings…and the Artcom fundraiser gatherings are being planned already. But for now when we cannot gather…we can do small home activities.
So, creative communities we are appealing to you!
Please consider using this time at home to create and donate a small artwork(s) that we will use for fundraising as soon as the time is right. We are thinking a standard A5 in whatever medium that blows your hair back.
What to include:
Physical address (If you're in the Cape Town area the works will be collected from you by appointment and then stored at AB headquarters for collection after lockdown)
Title and medium of the work.
High Res image of the work.
Stay tuned - we have an online artwork gallery planned, and more!"
FROM THE VAULT
We've been taking a deep dive into our archive, and have unearthed some real gems that have largely gone unseen over the years. And, to keep the home fires burning, we're releasing these as we find them so that we can all take a look back at burns past and enjoy a glow of some warm nostalgia.
Two short documentaries were released this week over on our YouTube channel - tuck in, and enjoy:
- 'Afrika Burns 1-chip 16mm' by Graham Abbott (2008)
- 'AfrikaBurn Documentary 1' by Jolene Cartmill (2009)
Keep an eye out on our YouTube channel, and on social media - we have more gems in store, including a previously-unseen 90-minute feature by filmmaker Gilles Chevalier.
Got time for a deep read? Oh look at that, you do - lekker: allow us to direct your attention to a great piece over on the Binnekring Blog that community member Devin B Faris sent in to us last week. It's titled 'Radical Isolation: What AfrikaBurn Can Teach Us About Thriving In A Pandemic', and we think it's all a bit of alright.
Read Devin's piece right here.
THAT'S ALL, FOLKS!
These are challenging times - but hang on...we are those people that invite challenges, aren't we? We are the weirdos that get dusty and uncomfortable, willingly, aren't we? We're the strangers that drive hours to a harsh place to, uh, well, kinda do good shit for other perfect strangers, are we not? Dead right. That is exactly who we are - so keep your freak flag flying high, and take that flag and fly it in the here and now - by showing love to the community around you, and beyond, in the ways that you can. Support a community feeding scheme. Show some love to a relief programme. Wear your humanity on your sleeve.
Stay safe, sane and positive out there!
Who made this?
Publisher, writer, editor: Travis Lyle
Proofreading & general eyes: Tim Doyle
Powered by: coffee, more coffee, and community spirit.