The Baardskeerder - AfrikaBurn's Newsletter - View web version

 (Darth Darling, strutting the dark style in Tankwa Town in 2012, as shot by Grant Johnson)
It's all an experiment. All of it. Any semblance of consistency and stability is an illusion: results may vary (and they do so with impressive consistency). The only normal is abnormal. Expect the unexpected. Resting state is unrest. All is in flux, including stability. Underneath the veneer of calm is an eternally exploding bomb of creative chaos. Abandon all rational thought (it has no place here). Step into the void, it will carry you aloft.

With that in mind, remember to relax: nothing is under control.
In this newsletter:





Last week we received a mail from Conrad Hubbe (who created the 'Washing Line' artwork in the dust this year), with a request to put suggestions of what we're listening to at the start of our newsletter, so that you could have something to listen to, while you read. In the spirit of this experiment, we think that's a fine idea, so here you go: we're listening to Radio Free Tankwa as it happens.


In case this enormous (and admittedly quite gorgeous) poster didn't quite get the point across - yes indeed, we're on the verge of our annual Decompression, and a rather rollicking variety show it's shaping up to be. We've called out for content, and a fantastic array of all-singing-all-dancing carnival content has stepped right up. Just like Tankwa Town, our crew open the space up, and you step in and add your magic to the mix. So, what's on the menu?

Artworks interactive, decorative and demonstrative! Performances beguiling, beautiful and bevok! Music bangin', bouncy and beaty! Costume of all shades and colours - and experiences of all manner tucked into each and every corner! And when we say costume, we mean it - this is a costumed affair (though to be fair, if you rock up 'normal', we wouldn't exclude you - though the Fashion Police at the door will charge you double).

In case you want actual details, here are some tasty teasers:

- Theme 2018 Announcement
- Best Dressed Contest hosted by Bishop Loon (1st Prize: ticket to AB 2018)
- Steampunk Saloon Burlesque
- ActionArte performance
- Talkshops on Art, Psychedelics, Sexuality, Psychoacoustics and more
- 15 DJ's on Silent Disco
- Smoken Token beat bar
- Radio Free Tankwa broadcasting live
- 'BURN: Into The Flames of Burning Art' book by Simon O'Callaghan on sale
- bars, food trucks, all the things

For the full lowdown of just exactly how much variety there is in this year's show,
head to the Facebook event page. 

Time? Place? Oh dear, cupcake - did you somehow miss the details on the poster above?Take a look (or click the link).

Tickets? Ah - that'll be R100 in costume (and R200 if not).
Get 'em here (like Trump's intelligence, they're limited).


So there it is - our Decom's primed to blow up, starting at 12 midday on Saturday - and like everything we do, it's driven by the love, sweat and cheers of volunteers. To make this one happen, a bunch of fabulous folk have stepped up - but there are still skills and slots that need filling.

If you're wondering how you can pitch in & help make it happen, take a look here and click the option that suits you best:

Coat Check / Lost & Found
Setup & Art Assist
Silent Disco
Bowling Alley
(yep, there's even a bowling alley!)


(Results may vary. This shot of Bakgatti and the Penelope Clan by Jonx Pillemer)


So there you were - once upon a time in a desert far far away - staring up at it, going 'Wow, this Clan is...amazing..." But did you know that you can build it? That you can submit a concept? (or, that even if you can't actually build it, your concept could go on to become the Clan?) True, all of it - every iteration's the brainchild of a fresh brain; since inception the Clan has been championed and interepreted by different artists (which is why every year, it's looked different). Anyone can take a crack at it - even you.

So, got an idea of what the Clan could look like in 2018? Fantastic -
head to this post on our site to dig into the how & when of the process.

To all Clan builders past, we tip our hats in salutation and thanks for all the blood, sweat & beers - and cables, and propellant, and nuts & bolts, and dust, and splinters - that go into our annual monumental effigy exercise.






Come Tuesday, our team are stepping out of our (not particularly corporate or glamorous - it's in an old, leaky, burnt out cinema) office and heading over to the Khulisa Community Garden in District Six. Why? Because it's Mandela Day, and we like what this project's about, so we're going over to help make things a little better for them. The garden provides an income for homeless folk by enabling them to grow & sell veggies and herbs.

We'll be there on Tuesday making some pallet furniture, and decorating their fences with some recycled artwork. Our challenge to you? Step outta your comfort zone (this isn't a new concept - you do it voluntarily every late April) and get out there to find a way to make a difference.

Because why? Because ubuntu, umlungu.


                                                                                                                                                                                 (Breakfast Yoga at Soberland by Belinda Bowling)


It takes all kinds to make a desert city - even sober folks and those in recovery. Here's word from The Tim, who was part of the team behind it:

"This year saw the creation of a safe space for burners with recovery needs. The Sober camp (or Dry Zone) was really successful - and will continue under the name 'Soberland'. It served as home to 9 guests, and was a great hangout for quite a few more people. There were daily meetings, and a lot of support for anyone who needed it. 

A small team has grown around it, and the participants are really exicted about next year - and they'd like to thank everyone involved in making it happ
en (including the AfrikaBurn team, and the Green Dot crew) for facilitating and enabling the space. The Soberland Squad will continue to host events and get-togethers  and would like to invite anyone who'd like to get involved to check out their (new) Facebook Group

For more information, and to join the Soberland Squad mail or "

                                                                                                                       ('Ouroboros by Daya Heller, and New Moon Collective, at Cape Town Carnival 2014)


In a city like Cape Town, there's a lot of cross-pollination of the creative arts. Over the years, numerous artists and creators have collaborated on projects that have made appearances at both the Cape Town Carnival and in Tankwa Town - and that's as it should be: we're all in favour of a growing ecosystem of opportunities that enable people to hone their skills (whilst earning a crust). With that in mind, here's news on an invitation from the Carnival team:

"There's a Carnival 2018 brainstorm happening soon, based on next year's theme of 'Mother City, Mother Nature' - and we'd be thrilled to have you join us along with participating group leaders.

Date: Saturday, 29th July 2017
Venue: 17th Floor, Media24 Building, 40 Heerengracht St, Foreshore
Time: 8:30 for 9:00am (tea served from 8:30, commences at 9am sharp)
RSVP: " 




Was it the big sound systems? Could it have been the Weekend Specials? The Plug & Play camps? Could it even have been your mates who came to jol their tits off without actually engaging with the whole damn singing & dancing principle  shebang? Maybe that dude/gal/dudegal that shagged your ex? The muppet student who came completely unprepared and ended up stealing your (unlocked) bike?

For the answers to these and other ever-mystifying questions that hover just beyond the edge of comprehension, dig into this fantastic review of who ruined Burning Man (and by extension, AfrikaBurn) written by the majestic Caveat Magister.

This one. Right here.

In the spirit of the Cacophony Society and the Suicide Club (both of which, in case you weren't aware and hadn't stubbed your reading toe on this historical fact, are actually part of AfrikaBurn's roots in the not-so-distant past), one of our community members recently staged a harmless prank in his neighbourhood, in the name of Leave No Trace.

To see just exactly what we're talking about,
click these magical words to be transported to a video that explains it all.

Well played, Niel!

Almost - but not before reminding you that this is your newsletter, and that if you have any news or events you'd like to chuck in, you can do that by using our handy Newsletter Submission Form right here.

Travis Lyle
Minister of A Keyboard So Hammered That Some Of The Letters Are No Longer Visible

Hey! You still reading? Lekker - in case you weren't aware, we've got a blog that's been around since 2011 and is packed with stories, ruminations, tales and tips & tricks from members of our community. Tuck in right here and enjoy.


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