If we’re lucky, we find our people, our tribe, our kin – those friends, and that can mean family too, with whom we share real connection. With them, we feel at home; we share meals, dreams, late nights, slow walks; exchange books, music, ideas; offer each other time, inspiration, energy, solace and a sense of belonging. We allow the rhythm of our days to align with theirs – even when they are hundreds of miles away.

This weekend in Tankwa Town, in the middle of the Karoo desert, South Africa, a good handful of the people we love have gathered for AfrikaBurn. Under a huge sky, they have set up camp together, danced through the night, shared water, warmth, food, fire, inspiration and love.

We try to go every year to step away from life as we know it, to be with our kin – to be part of the community that establishes itself there in the heat and dust. AfrikaBurn is created by the participants – we all subscribe to the belief that, ‘transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.’

That’s where the hygge is – the willingness to be there whole heartedly. Everyone is welcome. No one is greedy or critical. And each one of us comes with a gift – something to offer unconditionally without contemplating a return or exchange. You can’t buy, sell or advertise anything. You can give and you can receive. It’s not about consumption but participation. People come with kites, morning coffee, music, wigs, fire pits, giant lego, tiny Buddha, gardens of fluorescent flowers, hula hoops, lanterns, paint, paddling pools and cupcakes. They gift trance tents, yoga classes, healing, polaroids and friendship. Even an Ego Booth. Check in your ego. Let go.

Afrikaburn is about ‘community building, decommodification, creativity, self-reliance and radical self-expression. It is a chance to invent the world anew.’ Just for a few days. The experience is something that sustains us for the rest of the year. And when we leave, we leave no trace wherever we have gathered.


Posted by Louisa Thomsen Brits on 29 April 2012