Another year – and another fantastic opportunity for two members of our global community to switch places, thanks to the annual Lakes of Fire Burner Exchange!
This year, Andrew Miller from Toronto will be representing the Great Lakes region in the US, and traveling to Tankwa Town very soon. Going the other direction will be our community member Jano January will travel from South Afrika to the Great Lakes area to represent AfrikaBurn at Lakes of Fire in June.
Here’s a little about each Ambassador and the event themes this year:
Lakes of Fire Ambassador: Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller is a distinguished Canadian photographer known for his Burning Man photography. He describes his body of work as a study of art created through immediacy. In his 20 years as a photographer, 10 have been spent documenting the Burning Man Social movement at the main event and several regionals. Using the medium of photography and composite editing Andrew highlights sculptures, moments, and the atmosphere of Burning Man unlike any other.
He has exhibited his photos at Burning Man, Hyperborea Regional, Mooseman Regional as well as Lakes of Fire. and various decompression parties. Related to his research into art and immediacy, Andrew has taken on various artistic positions such as a festival organizer, an art curator, and contributing builder for various art projects. You can see a bunch of Andrew’s images on the Lakes of Fire website and also on his own website.
Andrew will be hosted by our Department of Mutant Vehicles, who’ve played host to Lakes of Fire Ambassadors for all 6 past Exchanges.
Here’s info on Andrew’s planned project in Tankwa Town:
“My plan is to exhibit a series of photos at AfrikaBurn. The photography will reveal the sculptures and atmosphere of Burning Man in the Americas. Transport yourself into unimaginable fantasy with these vibrant images. Images of Temples at Sunset, the Man exploding, mutant vehicles with lasers, and the small beautiful sculptures in the middle of nowhere.”
AfrikaBurn Ambassador: Jano January
In June at Lakes of Fire Jano will be hosted by The Secret Gentleman’s Club who have hosted 5 of our 6 years doing this program. Jano January, also known on the Binnekring as Sheik Monei, is a 33-year-old South African creative who has been involved in AfrikaBurn since the very first event back in 2007. It was there, at its inception, where he immersed himself fully in the unique atmosphere that is burn culture and had his first magical taste of what would, fortunately, come to be a very significant part of the rest of his life.
Back then he was unaware of other events like this dusty gem upon which he had stumbled: “I didn’t know about Burning Man and other regional burns that shared our special community ethos, and believed that our community, and the culture that we had come to form and embrace, was unique and indigenous to the confines of Tankwa Town.”
Today he is much more aware of the global scale upon which events such as ours take place and would absolutely love to have the opportunity to explore the various communities that have arisen from the desert dust, all linked culturally through similar goals, aims, ideals, and ethics.
“With all this said I have been involved in more than a few projects over the years. Some of these projects include but are not limited to a 2014 Clan (effigy) build, artworks, theme camps |(our camp, Smoken Token, will be back again this year!), multiple mutant vehicles including The Acid Squid, DPW, DMV, Mutant Patrol, Rangers, Leave No Trace, and Radio Free Tankwa. My involvement has been varied and immersed. I will always be a burner at heart and value the connections, friends and life lessons I have learnt over the years. I am looking forward to sharing some of these experiences and making new memories, connections, and friends. I am excited to experience the global burn culture first hand and I look forward to meeting you all.”
Here’s word from Jano on the project he’ll be taking to Lakes of Fire:
“Gun violence isn’t endemic to Cape Town alone. My lakes of Fire artwork highlights gun violence as something that plagues both South Africa and the USA. The USA has the highest gun ownership rate of any country. With 144 registered firearms per 100 citizens, the result of this is that they have the highest mass shooting rate on the planet. My sculpture project will consist of about 25 candles which are moulded to look like rifle bullets. These bullet shaped candles will be the arranged into a candelabra. Candles will be lit to pay homage to those who lost their lives to gun violence.”
We wish both Ambassadors all the best, and look forward to reporting back about how their projects fare, and what their experiences are like.