AfrikaBurn 2023: 24 to 30 April

2012: The Storm Outside (and within)

 Words: Mutant Reaper / Photos: as per credit on shot

My first burn was 2012, after many years of vigorously resisting my friend’s invitation. My perception was that is it a big trance party with people running around naked, neither of which I wanted to participate in, and I was totally unprepared for how much more there is to this experiment.
Two us travelled slowly together to the 2012 burn, making it through the dust road to Stonehenge just as it started to rain. In a matter of minutes the dirt track turned into a muddy waterway and vehicles started to flounder… and to my amazement, everybody stopped and helped one another… this should have been the first clue of the power of the burner community…

Upon arriving at a submerged DMV camp, with waterfront kitchen, I was welcomed like I belonged; it was time to unpack. It was an alien feeling, belonging… ‘Golly, what have I let myself in for here! Might as well make the best of it’. Find a spot that is not flooded, pitch the tent and start bailing out the ever expanding waterfront…
And so the calm after the trip in descended… little did I know that it was the calm before the storm! I was under the main tent when the tornado hit, and although the rest of the crew bailed, I hung onto the wildly bucking tent pole holding up the whipping canvas while an ever increasing wind howled. Feeling rather alone in that instant, wondering why I was trying to hold onto a tent far too large for me to have made any significant difference. Just when I thought my head would burst it was over… and so too was the burn, or so I thought in despair…

But minutes later with the crew returned and tents and equipment being righted, and handing out my freshly made sandwiches, things looked brighter and, oh boy, did the place really rock after this… the party after the storm was something special…reality forced immediacy…
With Tankwa green frogs now in residence in our waterfront (which remained the pallet lined waterfront for the rest of the week), and a sneaky underwater obstacle for the unwary cycling through the pond, much mirth and silliness ensued. In fact the pond provided hours of merriment and entertainment, from Ms Nesbitt failed attempts at pumping the water elsewhere… anywhere else! To late night water ballet and frog kissing to ‘kiss your dignity goodbye’ swan dives into that hole that caught everyone…

I found myself, and I thought I had seen most everything being fairly well travelled, staring, mouth agape, at the art in every form, the fabulous people, the gifting and the burns. Nothing had prepared me for this. And I found a tiny bit of hope for humanity. An internal regeneration of hope. The sense of community and how an extremely diverse group of people really can make it work without money or marketing. Such love and tolerance and inclusion.
It profoundly changed my course…

If you liked that, you’ll love this.

Share this article:


Related news:

  • All
  • About Art & Performance
  • Anathi
  • Art
  • Binnekring Blog
  • Building & Burning
  • Burning Man
  • Children at the burn
  • Community
  • Decommodification
  • Development News
  • Ecological Responsibility
  • Gifting
  • Hard Questions
  • home
  • Homeburn
  • International Burning
  • International Burning
  • Job opportunities
  • Latest News
  • Light Art
  • Mutant Vehicles
  • Photos & Videos
  • Quaggafontein / The new site
  • Ranger
  • Sanctuary
  • Tales of the Orange
  • Tankwa Tales
  • Tankwa Tips
  • The Eleven Principles
  • Traveling to the Burn
  • Uncategorized

Aren't Pop-up Messages Annoying?

Not as annoying as Viagogo and the other ticket tout companies that want to steal your hard-earned money.

If you're looking to buy AfrikaBurn tickets, please do not purchase from any website other than our Quicket Page.