Image credit: Jonx Pillemer

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  • VOLUNTEER
2023 Theme – SPACE

AfrikaBurn 2023 invites you to embark on a journey through universes, to new worlds, through a glimmering wormhole and out the other side.  Quaggafontein beckons with a circus in the stars, a field of imagination ripe for navigation and creation. Forge your own wonders, design cosmic delights and play with your weird and alien crew. This horizon beckons you. Breathe deep the night air, drink the moonlight moonshine.  Stumble and…

2022 Theme – The Elastic Kraal-Art Burning Test

Dearest artists, dreamers, miscreants, poets, builders, believers, renegades, anarchists, lovers and light weavers… whether you’re ON the Bus or OFF the Bus, we invite you to take a journey with us into that mythical liminal zone – that elastic upside down, inside out, uncomfortably delicious, deliberately serendipitous, threshold – between the desert and the default world… that we all call Home.

2020 Theme – Afroboratory

This year’s theme invites you to embrace the notion that what we co-create in the desert is an experiment. What do you want to achieve - and how are you going to achieve it? Do you want to find better ways of being, and doing? Are you interested in exploring new frontiers in electronics, sound or light? Are you an amateur pioneer in pyrotechnics, art or kinetic sculpture? Got a…

2019 Theme – Ephemeropolis

Ephemerality (from Greek – ephemeros) is the concept of things being transitory, existing only briefly. Rising like a dusty mirage out of the Karoo heat, there’s a city that many call home. A manifestation of our collective imagination, the culmination of our collective efforts. It comes and goes, and ebbs and flows. It’s transient, temporary and transitory. It’s […]

2018 Theme – “Working Title______________”

Our theme this year invites you to engage with the level to which you are responsible for defining Tankwa Town, a temporary city in a participant-driven society. Larry Harvey has described how when the small handful of Cacophonist and Bohemians physically moved 'The Man' from Baker Beach to the Black Rock Desert, "...no one asked what it was, what its significance was or what it meant, the reason being, because…

Photo: Jonx Pillemer

Play offers us a portal: a magical doorway that connects locations, dimensions, or points in time. Where truths are to be found obliquely, where nonsense, irrationality and intuition are prized. Openings to these magic portals are varied and wondrous. It may be a fabled wardrobe, the break of day, an inviting smile, or the blank canvas of the burn. Step through the looking glass, fall down the rabbit hole, be…

2016 Theme – X

Whether X stands for exoticism, taboo, or technological progress, it’s a reminder that Tankwa Town is made by you. Honour the builders who came before, upon whose creativity we stand. Let’s embrace the ever-constant drive for new and unexpected. We invite you to engage with this open thematic and participate in the new decade.

2015 Theme – The Gift

Another year has rolled round, and here we are again, with a fantastic theme for you to sink your head, heart and hands into. Ladies and gents, we give you THE GIFT!

2014 Theme – The Trickster

AfrikaBurn is a jester, it is a call to play, to question, to catalyze change for the greater good. The burn was born out of impulse; to create freely, to experiment, to express, to dare, to do, to celebrate. Be a culture hero. Be brave, play the fool – be the Trickster and participate in inventing our world anew! Got it? Great! Pick it up, play with it, consider it,…

2013 Theme – Archetypes

Unleash your inner trickster, mother, wise old man, divine child, spirit. Your joker, jester, your king and your queen. Are you very  good? And are you very wicked? A dragon or dragon-slayer? Does your animus have an anima? Or are you pure spirit animal? Male, female, misfit, mermaid, rebel, angel, force of nature ... bring the archetypes to life, to dance across the desert.

2012 Theme – Mirage

Mirage – a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce an illusion of water, people, or objects. What is there? What is real? And what is pure imagination? Is this a mirror of ourselves? A shimmering reflection. Temporary, transient. We gather on that lively line where the hot earth meets an aloof sky, and this is where we dance, sing, rejoice. But come quick, for…

2011 Theme – STOF: The Primal Mud

STOF Is the Afrikaans word for dust. The Germanic word for matter. matter and energy, is the building material of everything, plofstof are explosives, ignition dust - Tankwa is all about dust, stuff – materials - the stuff we work with stuff- materialism…we have too much stuff, too many belongings kool stoff is carbon, the base of all life the stuff in my head…..what to do with it! Stof is…