AfrikaBurn for Beginners (Part 1)

‘It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.’ – Chuck Palahniuk

In a sense, AfrikaBurn is about setting aside every day life and to live an uncluttered life. The festival’s AfrikaBurn Website takes it a step further:

“AfrikaBurn’s aim is to be radically inclusive and accessible to anyone. The touchstone of value in our culture will always be immediacy: experience before theory, moral relationships before politics, survival before services, roles before jobs, ritual before symbolism, work before vested interest, participant support before sponsorship”


There are 11 principles or ideals that act as a guide to better understand the existence of the festival:

1) Radical Inclusion: Anyone or any person can be part of AfrikaBurn.

2) Gifting: Providing gifts to fellow festival goers is encouraged, however a return gift is not expected in return.

3) Decommodification: Advertisements, branding or marketing is discouraged.

4) Radical Self-Reliance: Encouragement to rely on your own resourcefulness.

5) Radical Self-Expression: Everyone is unique and thus expression comes from within provided the giver respects the rights and liberties of the recipient.

6) Communal Effort: A collective effort to co-operate and collaborate within social networks, public spaces and works of art.

7) Civic Responsibility: Taking responsibility for not only yourself but for public welfare to conduct yourself within national and local laws.

8) Leaving no Trace: To respect the environment by leaving no trace or your activities and leaving the place in a better state in which you found it

9) Participation: A work ethic based on participating within your community where everyone is invited to work that provide change for one and all.

10) Immediacy: Seeking to overcome fears or obstacles that come between you, those around you and the natural world

11) Each One Teach One: Spreading the word to not only festival goers but the wider world out there. Pass on what you know !

Although this sounds almost like the 10 (sorry 11) Commandments of the Bible, it is the blueprint upon which the festival is based.

Part 2 will focus on 2018 event…..