AfrikaBurn 2023: 24 to 30 April

Image credit: Kim Steinberg

Afrika Burns Creative Projects (AfrikaBurn) was created in 2007 as a Not-For-Profit Company, with the intention that it would serve as a vehicle for the co-ordination of a South African Burning Man regional event. The initial directors of the organisation were Lil Black, Paul Jorgensen, Robert Weinek, Monique Schiess and Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes.

The central icon and effigy of the event, the Clan, is derived from an image found in San rock art in numerous locations in southern Africa, and symbolises a community as one. The design was created by Lil Black in 2006, ahead of the first event. 

The event has been running since 2007, with all events, up to and including 2019, held at Stonehenge Private Reserve, which is adjacent to the Tankwa Karoo National Park. In 2019, AfrikaBurn was gifted  99 years to stay on Quaggafontein, the new home of the organisation and event. 

The farm is very isolated, as it is situated in the Tankwa Karoo area of the Western Cape Province of South Africa. You can learn more about Quaggafontein here. 

The event was originally called Afrika Burns, however due to concerns about the name having possible negative connotations there was a public call for proposals on 15 May 2008. On 16 July 2008 the new name, AfrikaBurn, was officially announced via email. The new name preserves the identity of the event, but deals with possible negative interpretations changing the name from something (‘burns’) that happens to Africa, to something (a ‘burn’) that happens in Africa.

In 2010 the event was moved earlier in the year to the end of April because the mild autumn weather is better suited to the event, and so that a South African public holiday (or two) could accommodate the event that period.

For information on the next AfrikaBurn event, visit the ticket website here.

For a list of past event stats and details, see our past events page.

Those significantly involved over the years 2002 – 2011:

Directors: Monique Schiess, Robert (Miss Nesbitt) Weinek, Paul G, Adriaan, Jono, Liz ‘Blom’, Julia Savage, Brad Baard

DMV: Wayne McDermid, Paul and Fahldila Fletcher, Carl and Urshula du Preez, Alex Wheeler, Chuckie, Jan Strang, Apocalypse Org for DMV 9 ton truck

To all volunteers who did shifts

DPW crew: Jono, Paul Barker Greenfellow, Roger Mallet, Dunkin Doughnut Larkin, Paul Grose, Helio Lobo

Street lights crew: Helio Lobo, Tiaan Visser, Mark Julian, Robert Weinek, Cameron Richards, Melissa Dryer, Paul van Dyk solar

Street signs: Malissa Dreyer, Robert Weinek, Roger Mallet and DPW

Clan crew: Mark Julian, Tiaan Visser, Stefanie Schoeman, Nadia, Isa Marques, Nathan Honey, Cameron Richards, Malissa Dreyer (signage and clan), Helio Lobo

Riggers: Stefanie Schoeman, Albert Smit, Elrika Smit

Thanks to: Brendan Smithers, Alex Wheeler. Jan Strang.

DMV catering: Robert Weinek, Jan Strang for braais.  San Clan pre build, Spoons, Patrick goggles.

Site managers: Monique, Jono (Ranger Bob), Ardi, Jules, Robert Weinek, Paul G, Brad, Liz Blom, Conrad Hicks, Sebastian Prinz, Niki Prinz, Lachlan Matthews…(to check list)

Gate: Karin Kritzinger, Ashley Stevens, Monique Schiess

MOOPers: Jono, Liz, DPW crew for MOOP SWOOP

General thanks: Henk van Niekerk, Faan van der Westhuizen, David Beer, Graydon Ilderton from Nomadik tents for gifting DMV tents, Sybrand Cilliers for MICA tools, Mike Bare for tools loaned, Upset for wood and materials, Paul Barker for transport and assistance, Nathan Piper.

Sam Bendzulla for art and theme camp wrangling, and low income tickets. Isa Marques for comms and low income tickets. Devin Herd and Jon Cline for special events. Ilan Judes for design. Sam van der Merwe for book-keeping. Abi Case and Travis Lyle for The No Spectator.

Bosberaad (post event): All members and Directors who attended and Harley du Bois and $teven Ra$pa

AGM: Thanks to Adriaan and Liz for organising, and Richard Bowsher for chairing and to all Members and Directors who attended till 3 am!

Directors: Monique Schiess, Robert Weinek (Miss Nesbitt), Brad Baard, Paul G, Jules, Jono (Ranger Bob), Liz (Blom)

Members: Mike Suss, Richard Voller, Anine Trumpelmann, Richard Bowsher

DMV: Graydon Ilderton (for loan of DMV tents), Apocalypse for Trike, Paul and Fahldila Fletcher (bakkie), Carl and Urshula du Preez, Bo Duvenhage, Robert (Miss Nesbitt) Weinek, Wayne McDermid

DPW crew: Paul Grose; Roger Mallet; Charles Palm; Andrew, Brett Napier. Helio Lobo, Uprize

Clan crew: Nathan Honey; Marco G +++

Site managers: Monique, Jono (Ranger Bob), Ardi, Jules, Robert (Miss Nesbitt) Weinek, Paul G, Brad, Liz Blom

To all volunteers who did shifts at the event

Gate: Karin Kritzinger, Ashley Stevens, Monique Schiess

MOOPers: DPW for MOOP SWOOP

General thanks: Henk van Niekerk; Faan van der Westhuizen; Loan of Elvis; Paul Barker

Members & directors: Monique Schiess, Richard Bowsher, Robert (Miss Nesbitt) Weinek, Paul Grose, Jono Hoffenberg (Ranger Bob), Adriaan Wessels, Liz Linsell, Paul and Fahldila Fletcher

DMV: Wayne McDermid; Robert Weinek; Carl and Ursulah du Preez (generators and music and dance), Bo Duvenhage

DPW crew: Paul Grose, Uprize

Clan crew: Egon Tania, Andrew Gibson, Herman van Wyk, Jan Strang, Kobus, Christo Hough, Melissa Dreyer, Brett Napier, Helio Lobo

Gate: Karin Kritzinger, Ashley Stevens, Monique Schiess

Greeters: Jay, Liz, Daya, Miah, Cindy, Deona, James, Claire, Jolene, Ham (and his magical accordion), Cruickies, Shane, Abi, Colin, Eli, Margot, Amy, Stephan, Vivienne, Florian, Charles, Trevor, Gina, Alette, Rodney, Jitwam and any others who pitched in…

Rangers: Liz (Blom ranger), Jono (Ranger Bob), Cindy, Paddy, Catherine (Ranger Kitty), Adriaan (Ranger Mushroom), Deona, Cole, Dirk, Miss Nesbitt and Dave.

Thanks also go out to Ashley for vital gate duty, Andrew and Deona for running the yellow info tent, and all the Department of Public Works crew who pitched in on a whole range of activities.

General thanks: Henk van Niekerk, Faan van der Westhuizen; Dave from Nowhere

Members & directors: Monique Schiess, Richard Bowsher, Robert Weinek, Michael Sas-Rolfes, Paul Jorgensen, Lil Black

DMV: Robert Weinek, Kirk and Sharon Young from Yesco for DMV lighting

DPW crew: Robert Weinek, Charles Palm, Paul Jorgensen, Phillipa Scott, Karin Kritzinger, Uprize

Catering: Paul Jorgensen, Phillipa Scott

Gate: Karin Kritzinger, Ashley Stevens, Monique Schiess

MOOPers: Managed by Richard Bowsher (assisted by volunteers)

General thanks: Henk van Niekerk, Faan van der Westhuizen, Camp Vuvuzela, Mick Snell

Members & directors: Monique Schiess, Richard Bowsher, Robert Weinek, Michael Sas Rolfes, Paul Jorgensen, Lil Black, Karen Stewart

Paul and Fahldila Fletcher: loan of bakkie

DPW crew: Robert Weinek, Paul Jorgensen, Karin Kritzinger (flags, gate, toilets), $teven Ra$pa, Grady Cousins, Uprise, Ed Haynes, Adrian Havingall

Catering: Paul Jorgensen

Clan crew: Build: Paul Jorgenson, Brendan Smithers &  The Upsetters, Uys Krige, Greg, Paul Jorgensen, Up Rize, Adrian Havingall, Patrick L’amour.

Model built by Uys Van Der Merwe and Jona De Lange.

Design: Maeghan Judge, James Happe, Marius Roux, Karen Stewart, Kate Wigley

Signs: Alexi Romano

Ticketing: Matthew Evans, Matthew Swart

General thanks: Henk van Niekerk, Faan van der Westhuizen; Richard Bowsher, $teven Ra$pa, Grady Cousins; Black Rock Art Foundation, howhowhow, Charlie Smith, Jaime Ladet and family, all those that loaned us money to start the madness.

First Tankwa Karoo event cancelled due to flood.

Tankwa Stonehenge Farm location found with the help of Dean Botha and Conrad Hicks and others. Paul Jorgensen and Robert Weinek, Daisy and Mia Darling visit Henk and Maryke van Niekerk at Stonehenge.

Malplaas pre-Burn meeting takes place. Attendees are Paul Jorgensen, Robert Weinek, Lil Black, Paul Grose, Brad Baard, Monique Schiess, Richard Bowsher, Mark Mostert, Michael Sas-Rolfes, Simon Dunckley, Harry, Glen Wolter and more…

Afrikaburn pre-Burn 1 & 2, Paardevlei Farm Somerset West

Paul Jorgensen, Michael Sas-Rolfes, Karin Kritzinger, Herman van Wyk, Lil Black, Simon and Juta, Robert Weinek, Niel Ferreira, Ruahragh Brassy, Paul and Fahldila Fletcher, Mark Mostert, Egon Tania, Amanda Williamson, Bill Scarborough, Fletcher, Stephani, Andrew Putter,  Manfred Ziller, Paul Grose, Mark Heys, Mia and Daisy Darling

Simultaneous to these discussions Richard Bowsher, Brendan Smithers, Monique Schiess, Michael Sas-Rolfes, Mark Braunlich, James Happe, Nicolas and other South African Burning Man attendees were complotting to create a South African Burn. By the end of 2006 all had amalgamated their efforts!

Paul Jorgensen arrives at Paardevlei farm, Somerset West. Discussions start with Robert Weinek, Lil Black and Mark Mostert. Funding from Black Rock Art foundation for Afrikaburns is awarded.

Paul Jorgensen contacts his old friend Robert Weinek via email about organising a burn and applies for funding from Black Rock Art Foundation (BRAF) for Afrikaburns. Paul also arranges Afrikaburns as a Burning Man regional and secures buy in.

Monique Schiess writes in her diary, “Must start a burn in SA…”

Whilst working on an artwork with Charlie ‘Blackcat’ Smith at Burning Man 2002 in the pre-gates period, Paul Jorgensen meets Larry Harvey and indicates he would like to get a burn going in South Africa.

Did you play a part in AfrikaBurn’s history? Let us know – please take the time to contribute to our History and Acknowledgments pages by emailing [email protected]. Thank you!

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

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