AfrikaBurn 2024: 29 April to 5 May

Inspiration (The Spirit Train Story – Part I of III)

Words: Michael Kennedy / Photos: Christian Barnard & Lizaan Nel

… is like a breeze.
It passes over you effortlessly and when it whispers to your soul it will consume you. You cannot summon inspiration … but when the relative elements within your sphere align themselves you will know it is near. And therein lie the foundations of a great story to be told. This is our story.

Our story would not exist if it weren’t for the contrary to our present playa status – that of complete freedom and absolute detachment from responsibility. Personally, my Afrikaburn experiences unraveled perfectly like the long tongue of a thirsty wolf into water. Baptized as a stumbling virgin with reckless abandon … shooting the breeze and landing where the wind took me. Curious moments and strange encounters of inexplicable magic and synchronicity brought me to my knees, and within this process a clearer reflection of myself staring back at me. In contrast to those close to me my consciousness was a quality to behold and let unfold. My first three Afrikaburn experiences were in essence grooming me to become a project leader with a refined project vision, a partner in crime to bring it together, and backed by a spirited crew.

The relevance of the term ‘spirit’ (in the context of The SPIRIT Train & ethos) is primary, whilst the actualization of the train itself is secondary. We sought to go beyond regular dance-floor constraints and bring life to an inanimate object – to send a message beyond the music & joy it provides. The secret being the energy that brings a project to life & transcends into the project itself. This approach to the selection of crew also flows into the dj booth. With the intrinsic belief system concerning energy – we must adapt this beyond just the music eminating from our rig, but from who does it eminate ? With the meticulous lineup composition process we screen the people behind the music too, and if it feels right, and that human has the goods (musically) – they fit the bill. Ego has no place inside Lobo’s heart (AKA the dj booth) – and this should apply beyond Tankwa Town too.

This journey is not finished. It’s our own love story and thus strongly emphasize (although possibly frowned-upon) to a first-timer at Afrikaburn to go that first time without a project or major responsibility. Gift in one way or another, but allow yourself the freedom to relish in the magic that this landscape & moneyless dynamic provides … the random magic we now miss out on by having such a demanding project … and let your inspiration to create something (in following years) find you. Otherwise you’re creating art – for art’s sake … and the depth of your story to be told will never surface. Let your experiences guide your motivation and define your vision. Know thyself and ask yourself ‘why’ you do what you do … and are your intentions rooted correctly. Be the creator – not the dictator. Don’t be a poes and hire multitudes of hands to realize what you think the playa needs … be the hands in manifesting your dreams. If it’s any other way, your artwork is rooted in your ego – a facet of one’s self which is one to let go.

We aim to uphold all of the eleven Afrikaburn principles as much as we can strive for. The community is a major element of the Afrikaburn landscape & project planning, and in fact something to actualize more into our post-Burn lives – along with the remaining principles. Immediacy is a subtle, yet interesting player, and a good friend of magic. The playa is the greatest status equalizer and immediacy can be maintained by avoiding the broadcasting of specific occasions or events.

In the context of Lobo – we do not support social media (or similar) broadcasts of dj/performance lineups as this kills immediacy, promotes the ‘music festival’ facet of a multi-faceted temporary city and creates a system of hierarchy on a subconscious level. Our printed lineup can be found inside our dj booth or ST theme camp – for those who seek it out. Otherwise may you stumble across a faceless musical guru at X minutes past X.
Zero expectation is generally supported by a positive surprise. And naturally we can’t discuss the subject of consciousness without mentioning MOOP. There’s not much to be said here besides treat the planet as you would your own home. Wait – treat it better – because we share this planet with you !! And it’s an absolute shit-show sometimes after a solid night at The SPIRIT Train. Maybe it’s time to enforce cleaner dance-floors … killing the music … handing out bin-liners ? Please help us elevate the consciousness in this department at least.
Stay tuned for Part II – Perspiration, coming soon!

And hey – to roll a project of this size out, into the desert, to share with everyone as a gift, takes a whole lot of real-world cold hard cash. If you’ve enjoyed the benefit of this crew’s hard work, show them some love – here’s how & where:

International: PayPal Acc:
South Africa: Quicket:

To continue reading more of this series, find Part II here.

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