AfrikaBurn 2023: 24 to 30 April

MOOP Map 2016

(words: Cara Morris)

It’s that time folks! It’s time to settle in for the dirtiest news of the year – it’s time for the AfrikaBurn X MOOP Map.
This year was bigger! It had more people! More love! More art! More vehicles! More weather! And… sadly, more MOOP.
This year, it took us 11 days to clean up the desert… and look at all that yellow! From the expansion zones where we witnessed the tragic demise of a black feather boa amongst the bushes, a sight from which we will never recover; to the sparkle pony moulting areas of 9:30/10 across to the ‘mielie husk’ fields of the horn… And the straw! Oh, the straw.
But I am waxing lyrical… here’s the Map in all its gory glory  – click the image for the zoomable PDF:
This year was a challenge. The weather was intense. There was a lot of wind-blown MOOP because of this (lock your shit down in camp and put the lid back on the bucket!). There were more early arrivals, which meant there were a bunch of people out there for longer which meant more waste to cart out at the end.
But there’s always a disco ball at the end of the tunnel – shout out to you lovely people who took the extra care and poured that little bit more love into your space to make it a shiny green (our favourite colour). And to those of you theme camp and artwork wranglers and artists that came to find us for sign offs on the last few days. You guys rock! Thank you for making your lives a tiny bit harder to make ours MILES easier. We love you.
So who were the main MOOP culprits this year? Because of all the yellow, let’s start small… There were the usual suspects: stompies (cigarette butts for the uninitiated – get a butt plug!), cable ties, glow sticks and wood, but we want to highlight a few special appearances:

  • DIAMANTES, you know, the kind that come on a sheet of some sort and then are used to adorn ourselves spectacularly? Those fall off. Top Tip: use eyelash glue to keep them in place on your face!
  • FEATHERS! If you have feathers on your costume, give it a daaaaamn good shake before you leave, in fact, maybe even find a friend to shake it with you. If any of the feathers come off; PLEASE leave the costume at home.
  • Also remember that ORGANICS don’t break down in the desert – egg shells, lemon slices, onion skins, vomit – all of these are MOOP.

In terms of micro MOOP, the miscreants of last year (the dance floors), were much better this year! Thank you! Just remember that people stomp things into the earth though… dig deep!
Shout out to the camps and DJ’s that got on board the MOOP wagon and literally turned the dance floor into a MOOPing jam! Halala!
MOOP bottles – we use these to pick up micro MOOP – Duncan Larkin
Moving upwards on the spectrum of MOOP… Once again this year, julle is vol kak (this means: you’re full of poo). Please people, if you need to take a dump and can’t seem to find a loo, walk a bit further… chances are you’re close to one. If you still can’t find one, for the love of dust, BURY IT! There are few things worse than stepping in someone’s shit. Gross.
We also had an upswing of fires in the free camping spaces this year… ground fires are a big no – they leave burn scars, which are permanent! They chemically change the ground (this is why we have assigned areas for the burns – so we don’t create new burn scars). Make your fires off the ground! And when you are leaving, instead of dumping your coals, spread them out, or better yet, take them back with you!
Speaking of the free camping areas (and the theme camp areas, heck, even the Binnekring), what’s up with the sweeping? If you sweep the desert floor it stays here for years! Leave no trace means leaving the desert how you found it…
Radical self-reliance means not relying on other people (like service providers) to pick up your stuff for you – more than one camp was let down that way this year. Your MOOP is your responsibility.
DPW clean up collage – the pics on the right are of trash found IN THE TOILET PITS! - Pics by Duncan Larkin and Craig Maxwell
You might be wondering why parts of DPW and OCC are red – I mean, we are the last to leave so surely we should be the shiniest of all, right? Well, this year – the weather was HARDCORE, which meant we had to dig a whooooole lot of trenches to keep our site from flooding and everything being destroyed. This meant that once the ground had hardened, the trenches were basically impossible to fill up again without completely destroying the earth. We’re working on it though, bit by bit and it will be sorted by next year’s set up.
Also, this one time, our greywater tanks caught ALL of the rain and flooded. Tannie Tola pulled in to the rescue, but in spite of us being able to channel it, it still affects the critters that live in the ground.
Remember, every single one of us is crew. We are all invited to work. If you go and visit a theme camp, dance floor or heck, even your neighbours, respect the space and take your trash with you when you leave in your MOOP bag… Want to know how to get a MOOP bag? Chat to us about volunteering!
If you’d like to join the MOOP army, drop us a line: [email protected]
Want more detail on what we found where? It’s all on this spreadsheet.
MOOP army, out.

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