AfrikaBurn 2023: 24 to 30 April

2014 Theme – The Trickster

“A sense of humor…is superior to any religion so far devised.” – Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

Tricksters are heroes of culture, mythological characters that are found in stories throughout the world: Coyote, Raven, Tortoise, Anansi the spider, Zomo the Hare, Eshu – the mischievous messenger of the Yoruba gods, the Chinese Monkey King, Krishna, Hermes, Loki, Iktome, Bart Simpson, Bugs Bunny, Jack Sparrow, Beetlejuice, Evita Bezuidenhout.

Sometimes funny, often sly, and almost always subversive, Tricksters transcend boundaries and time. They are often human-acting animals or have the ability to switch between animal and human form – they possess magical powers of transformation; they are the shapeshifters, clowns and jesters of our world.

“Life must be lived as play” – Plato

By their actions, Tricksters remake and readjust the world; either reinforcing and reaffirming the priority and wisdom of the community, or transforming societies, proliferating new structures, creating new symbols and new metaphors, reinvigorating culture by preventing it from becoming over-structured, muscle-bound and sanctimonious.

As he wanders along, ignoring boundaries, awaiting chance opportunities the trickster is simultaneously Hero & Fool.

“The creation of something new is not accomplished through the intellect but by the play instinct” – Carl Jung

Prometheus – known for his intelligence and a champion of humankind – was a trickster. The story goes that he created mankind from clay as a trick. He then stole fire from the gods and gave it to humanity: an act that enabled progress.

Royal courts recognized the role of the jester, capable of poking fun at the powers that be. Without their disruptions, cultural stagnation would result. 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, stick it in your head, roll it around and see how you feel about it. Above all, let it inspire you and set your creative flames alive.

If there’s any info you need, you’re in the right place – look up, and click on the many links listed above on the menu to find a wealth of tips, tricks and tried & trusted ways to make your AfrikaBurn experience fantastic. Onward to the Tankwa!

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