AfrikaBurn 2023: 24 to 30 April

Image credit: Steven Morrow

AfrikaBurn is the spectacular result of a community of participants who come together to create art, costume, performance, gifted and volunteered services, Theme Camps, music, Mutant Vehicles, and much, much more. It is a chance to invent the world anew.

The flagship AfrikaBurn event takes place in the Tankwa Karoo, at Quaggafontein Farm, located in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, around the end of April every year.

AfrikaBurn is the largest of many events across the globe that share Guiding Principles through affiliation with the Burning Man Regional Network.

Image credit: Kim Steinberg

Theme History

Every year, the event has a theme around which the artists and community focus their projects. To some it’s a critical factor in their yearly experience, and for others it matters less. From Play to Mirage to The Elastic Kraal-Art Burning Test, the theme serves as a springboard to inspire and engage people – hopefully sparking ideas and experimentations. That’s the whole point of this thing, isn’t it?

Image credit: Roger van Wyk

Image credit: Michiel Prins

Clan History

Much like Burning Man has ‘The Man’, the AfrikaBurn community has a central effigy that is burned at the culmination of the year’s efforts. It’s an important part of the experiment and experience, and as such, has resulted in many adventures and stories to tell. 

The Clan History page will give you an overview of all the amazing scuptures and the teams that built them. 

The main annual AfrikaBurn event takes place in the Tankwa Karoo, located in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, at the end of April every year. Beyond this, a number of year-round activities take place across South Africa and include:

  • The annual Decompression event, which takes place after the main AfrikaBurn event.
  • The Blank Canvas Express (a series of free arts workshops that take place during a roadshow that reaches out to disadvantaged communities in the Northern Cape).
  • The annual Streetopia event, which is a free one-day event that sees local communities and members of the AfrikaBurn community collaborating in creating art and performance in urban settings. These now take place in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.
  • Town Hall meetings, held occasionally as forums to which anyone is welcome to bring their topics or issues for discussion.
  • Outreach activities, which consist of a wide range of social development work done by AfrikaBurn’s team, and volunteers, that sees communities in need assisted in various ways with medical care, funding for schools and feeding programmes and more.
  • Spark Grants, which see a range of community projects funded by AfrikaBurn event ticket money.
  • Volunteer Days (at AfrikaBurn’s workspace in Cape Town, and also in relation to the Streetopia event).

AfrikaBurn’s aim is to be radically inclusive and accessible to anyone. The touchstone of value in our culture will always be immediacy: experience before theory, moral relationships before politics, survival before services, roles before jobs, ritual before symbolism, work before vested interest, participant support before sponsorship.

To really understand AfrikaBurn, you should check out the Eleven Principles, which act as guidelines for the event and culture. They’re not rules, or commandments, but understanding them will unlock the magic of the experiences available to you.

Our Mission Statement:

AfrikaBurn is a participant-created movement, an experiment in inclusive community building, decommodification, creativity, self-reliance and radical self-expression. It is a chance to invent the world anew.

Guiding principles

Created as guidelines for how we gather, and keep us united in the pursuit of experiences beyond the pale of mainstream society.

The organisation

There’s a passionate organisation that holds the legal and fiduciary responsibilities of running the AfrikaBurn movement. 

how we work

It’s hard to walk the tightrope between anarchic self-expression and dedicated civic responsibility.