AfrikaBurn 2024: 29 April to 5 May

Wanted: Your Clan concept

That blank canvas that AfrikaBurn is, where everything is created by those who partake in the experience? It applies to everything related to Tankwa Town – and that includes our central and iconic effigy, the San Clan.

The symbol, which is a graphic representation of an  image found in !Xam (otherwise known as ‘San’ – the First Peoples of southern Africa) cave art in a few sites across South Africa, is believed to represent the unity in community, by depicting many people as one body – which is why it was adopted in 2007 as the symbol for our event, and community.


Here’s a shot of the crew that built this year’s Clan – consisting of volunteers, artists and members of the Sutherland community in the Karoo, who participated in a skills transfer programme as part of the build – and were present on the night of the Clan burn to ignite it and stand amongst us as artists and part of our community.

…and this is what it looked like, completed before it burned on the Friday night this year:

Take a look at the many permutations below that artists’ concepts have taken in as they’ve crafted each years’ unique effigy, over the past 9 years. It’s our 10th year (our theme is X, remember?) and the Clan design as always will be a big part of it.

It’s safe to say that during our event, and especially when our community gathers on the night of its burn – a moment that functions in some measure as a climax for our week-long desert experiment – that the Clan defines the unity of our community.

Above are all Clans to date shot by – left to right, line by line – Monique Schiess (2007), Graham Abbott (2008), Jonx Pillemer (2009), Graham Abbott (2010), Jonx Pillemer (2011), Mark Chipps (2012), Simon O’Callaghan (2013), Jonx Pillemer (2014), and Simon O’Callaghan again (2015).

Got an idea, the impulse and time & skills to do it?

Let us know – our Artcom are eager to hear what you have in mind. But whoa – before you leap forward with a wild and wonderful Clan concept, do take the time to read the guidelines on what it is, what it does and what’s important to consider. It’s no small undertaking, and beyond the actual artistic concept, involves much consideration of materials, tools, workforce, environmental conditions (wind & rain can radically impact structures this large, even over a small period of time), transport and of course, time to build.

If you’re up for it, download & read the Clan guidelines and get in touch by mailing [email protected]

The deadline for concept submissions is 30th October 2015 – we look forward to seeing what you have in mind!

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