The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version

(Jonx Pillemer:  Tankwa Town: 2013)

It keeps you on your toes, this Planet Earth does. You can't complain that it's boring, that's for sure. Hell, no. What to do when the world seems completely unhinged? Orange man with a renegade quiff elected leader of a superpower? Politicians so deep in the trough you can barely see their shoes? World gone tits up and being run by a confederacy of nutjobs? Fok it - you don your best damned costume, rustle up a posse and get the hell out there to make a difference by reminding people of their humanity, is what. That's how we roll - and we're an all-terrain community: we can do our thing anywhere. Spark a conversation, make a stranger smile, help us to remind ourselves of our humanity - isn't that what this thing we do is all about? Hell, yes.
In this newsletter:

- 2017 POSTER

(Streetopia 2015: Edwin Angless)

As we were saying, when the world seems tits up sometimes you just need to take to the streets for a refresher course in humanity - and next weekend, we do exactly that when we take over the streets of Obs in Cape Town for Streetopia! Yep: for one day, we get to bring our desert experiment alive by staging a grand little community event - and you right there are absolutely invited to come along and add your unique flavour to the proceedings. What's on? Hell, there's a lot:

- 3 small live music stages featuring a wildly eclectic and diverse mix of performers
- Artworks and Mutant Vehicles from Tankwa Town on display  
- Artists from Obs and surrounds will be holding open studios and exhibiting on the streets 
- A market featuring the work & produce of local residents will feature food, drinks, art and craft
- Films about Obs and AfrikaBurn will be screened at the Armchair Theatre
Trash Cabaret will be leading a marching band through the streets before they close the event on our main stage
- a massive list of other interesting, amazing and interactive stuff way too long to list here

To get a sense of the amazing mix of activities, check out the
Streetopia 2016 event page on Facebook. (There'll even be a solar telescope from the SA Astronomical Observatory that'll enable you to look Right. At. The. Sun. In great detail.)

What, where, when?

What: it's basically a community carnival, created by participants. Sound familiar?
Where: Observatory Village Green & Lower Main Rd, Cape Town
Time: 10am - 7pm

Come along - everyone's invited, it's free, and it's frankly fokken fabulous. And like everything we do, it's no spectator sport, so step right up and help us bring the desert experiment alive on the streets of Cape Town by checking out the volunteer options available - or bring art, an installation or That Thing You Do in the desert:

Alternatively, there's a bunch of ways you can plug into the action on the day and help out below.


(All hands on deck - here's a shot of volunteers rigging Daya Heller's 'Ouroborous' at last year's event) 


It takes a community and volunteers to make Streetopia happen - and there are loads of ways volunteers can get involved. Meals and refreshments will be provided and as always your gift of time will mean you'd be in line for a reduced price ticket for the next AfrikaBurn event. Which is lekker.

If you're keen to sign up for volunteer action, here's where you can do that:

Set up & Strike

Art Assistants

Info and Volunteer Booth

Leave No Trace team

Any questions? Email


And - we're not quite done with Streetopia yet - this one's for the Rangers (and prospective Rangers) out there: we have a Community Ranger Training date happening this Saturday at our HQ. If you're great with people and you're part lifeguard, part mediator, part troubadour - or are just good with people - you'll do fine. Come along and learn the way of the orange from Ranger Bob.

What, where, when?

What: Community Ranger Training Session #3
Where: AfrikaBurn HQ, Bijou, 178 Lower Main Rd, Obs, Cape Town
When: 9am - 1:30pm

Questions? Mail


(thanks to Head Librarian Trevor Lemon for this shot of the Tankwa Library at this year's event)


As with all of our events, every time we gather there's an element of helping out - and on the Village Green this year at Streetopia, both the Tankwa Town Library and our Outreach crew will be on hand to accept donations. The Library is looking for donations of books for schools in the Tankwa - so if you have any children's Afrikaans books, audio books, adult fiction, romance, cookery or handwork books, bring 'em along on the day - they'll be very appreciated. And Outreach?

That crew are always looking for donations that could make the life of schoolkids in the Tankwa a little better. So if you have any dry goods, kid's clothes, reading material, school stationery or toys, you're welcome to bring them along to the big tent on the green on the day.



Yup: that's happening - the Radio Free Tankwa rats who brought you rants, raves and more than a little great music in the dust (and have been broadcasting since) will be in full effect at Streetopia. So, if you can't make it to the event, good news: you'll be able to listen in and hear some of the music, as well as interviews with artists and random folk on the Village Green from 10am - 6pm on the day.

And just exactly how do you tune in and turn on to to Radio Free Tankwa?
By going here is how.



Whoosh - hear that? Yep: it was the sound of the Creative Grant deadline whizzing by. With that done, it means that our ArtCom were able to plough through the 48 submissions they received from project crews looking to secure funding for the pieces they plan on building, to bring to our thing in the dust next year. The good news is that there are some truly spectacular projects on the horizon - and this year, they were all assessed not only by the members of our Art committee, but also by a wide range of previous applicants, which has opened up the process and enabled a bunch of new connections to be made across our community.

Massive thanks to everyone that came along and scored the (anonymously presented) project proposals - and a special shout out to Walter Bohmer in Jozi for initiating a Jozi assessment session! If you send through a Creative Grant application, you'll be hearing back from our crew between the 21st of November and the 13th December, so sit tight - and thank you for building the magic of Tankwa Town!

(They're orange, and they eat the kak others drop on the floor: here's a selection of past MOOP bags) 


Got design skills? Fancy taking a crack at designing our very orange Leave No Trace bags? They're kinda famous in Tankwa Town. These are the bags that every volunteer gets, and they're the bags that are responsible for mopping up all the kak that gets dropped, so that we really do leave fokol trace after we all leave the event site. 

We're looking for design proposals - take a look at the examples above of previous year's designs, and if you're inspired to help us take them up a notch, get in touch!

Mail if you have any questions or suggestions, thanks.



We’re always looking for skills - and if you've ever wondered what it would be like to work with our team of nutters, dust lovers and freak wranglers, here's the news - these are some positions we're looking to fill:

- Airspace Assistant Manager
- Finance Admin Assistant
- DPW Buyer / Runner
- General IT Wrangler
- Backend Developer

As you can see, yes, we do indeed start preparing for the end of April at this time of year.

Interested in any of those options above? Head to
our Vacancies page and dig into the info, enkosi.


Other than Streetopia next weekend, things are starting to warm up on the fundraiser front - and there's also a Joburg Burning Bar happening soon. If you're in the area for the events below, show 'em some love!

                                                                                                                       (thanks to Ian Skene for this shot of the M*A*S*H*E*D Truck)


You remember that great jalopy that's prowled the Binnekring since there were just 1000 people in Tankwa Town? That's the work of those lovable rogues from the M*A*S*H*E*D Truck, which is one of only 2 Mutant Vehicles to have been to every single AfrikaBurn - and they're staging a fundraiser! It's a great chance for our community to come together before the holidays, so bring your beach blanket, your picnic, your smile and kick off your shoes and dance barefoot on the sand to 3 channels of tunes from some of Tankwa Town's all-time favourite DJs.

Venue: Camps Bay Beach (city end)
Date: Saturday 10th December
Time: 5pm - 8pm
Tickets: R100 (
advance here) and R120 on the day

Check out the Facebook event page here



The Leonid meteor shower peaks around 17 Nov every year. Radiating from the constellation Leo, this shower has produced some of the greatest meteor storms in history.
From a good location, you should have a spectacualr show - and there's nowhere better than the Tankwa Karoo, which isn't far from Sutherland, where our national astronomical institute is based. As it happens, this very weekend, our DMV crew are staging their annual Starry Weekend fundraiser - and there are still some spaces for folks with stars in their eyes.

Check out the info on the Facebook event page here.



Roughly once a month, a bunch of dust lovers get together in jozi to shoot the breeze, watch AfrikaBurn flicks and sink a few drinks. If you're in the area, heads up: there's one happening next Thursday.

Find out more on the Facebook event page here.



2017 POSTER!

You'd have seen the banner artwork, in our last Baardskeerder (well done for reading; it's an endandered pursuit) - and now we're happy to share the glorious beast that is our 2017 poster with you. Hats off and hands together for the designer - Jeanne Kepaan - who's smashed this way, way out of the park.

What's that? You'd like a printed copy? No problem - get your ass into gear and your best costume off the shelf, and come along to Streetopia! Why? Because we'll have loads of freshly-printed posters at our Info stand, where you can pick up your copy for absiolutely fokol, gratis, mahala and free.

Can't make it to pick up a copy? No problem -
head to this page on our website, where you can download a hi-res PDF to print at leisure.

You'll be seeing more of Jeanne's work down the line as we release our annual Survival Guide and WTF Guide - and her work will also be on our event armbands. Thank you, Jeanne! 

To see more of her work,
check this out.



Well, almost. At this time of year, because quite a few people have already secured tickets for next year's event, we always see an upsurge of people pimping 'paid experiences' for our little dust gathering. It happens, and we understand why: some people just don't like the idea of having to work, for the benefit of others - they'd prefer to just have a jol. That's people; sometimes they're kak. But it's now how we roll. We call this phenomenon Plug & Play camps, and to be frank, they piss us off, because they go against everything that our event and community stands for. We don't look to profit off each other, and the experience has never been about having a luxury holiday. So, if you come across anyone offering a plug & play option for next year's event, take the time to gently explain to them that that's just not how things work. Sharp. 

Travis Lyle
Minister of Information

Reading: it's a dangerous pursuit that can and does kill fascists, and ignorance. But then you'd know that, having read all the way to down here. Smart. Seeing as you clearly have a little more time on your hands, clap your eyes on this astonishing 'making of' video, created by Jeanne Kepaan, the mighty designer who created our 2017 poster and other elements. Enjoy.  


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