Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Afrika burns...to go or not to go,,,


Mr Nielson better known as Sid, and I have been deliberating about paying a visit to Afrika burns.

In the old days, we would have known about the festival through our own channels of communication, now we hear about such matters via our children. This is a humbling phenomonon, that comes as our prodigy, go out into the world and become interesting people. More interesting, alarmingly so, even then us!

Mr Nielson does so like to hang out with young people, thus confirming the benefits of marrying young, and fathering children whilst still 'wet behind the ears'. I on the other hand, am quite happy to stay home and let the children run wild, while I read a good book.

Thank goodness for Mr Nielson.

Afrika burns is an off-shoot of The Burning Man festival, that started out in 1989 on a small beach in San fransisco and became an annual event taking place in the Black Rock Desert attended by tens of thousands. It is primarily an art event creating a blank canvas, on which a community of festival goers can share and express themselves. It is a non-vending event so you take all your provision with you, from food, shelter and water to toilet paper and refuse removal.

The site is so vast that it is advised you bring a bicycle to get around from one installation to another.

The South African festival takes place in the Karoo, a semi-arid, dry and flat terrain hostile even to sheep! Festival goers are encouraged to make themselves useful, by volunteering to assist those who are building huge art installation, and things to burn. Spectators are not welcome. You are instructed to create, particpate or gift in whatever way you can.

My friend Cathy, is planning to make a huge coloured sand mandala. Another plans to 'wipe people's fears away' by setting up blackboards on which they can write down their fears for her to wipe off! Mr Nielson better known as Sid, wants to take his drums with to create a drum circle for people to join.

On the other hand, this all looks like a lot of work. We will have to purchase some new camping equipment, so it will be expensive. There will be no toilets. No showers. No take-outs! And as for the bicycle, I blush to admit this, but I don't know how to ride one.

There may also be, some very drugged up people.

And naked ones.

As we like to say ( tongue in cheek) under such circumstances; 'It's not for jews!'

But then again... maybe it is....

I'll keep you posted!




  1. Pretty curious thing, never heard of it on this side of the planet (a.k.a. Spain)...

  2. you obviously have a small sample size of jews, or spend your time with kugels.

  3. Actually, in Spain, there is a regional burn too! It is called Nowhere: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NoWhere_%28event%29