This article was published 5 years ago. Chances are I might feel differently nowadays.
It isn’t a party. Nor a festival. It’s not a retreat. Or a camp site. It’s not a music event. Or a food event. Or a fashion event.
It is a space for all these things and more. It is a little city, like any city, in which you have somewhere to go for coffee, to have a pancake breakfast, to watch a fashion show, to experience some performance art, or hike, or do yoga, or attend educational workshops. It is a place where you can be yourself and allow others to be their own beautiful selves. It’s a space where you realise that we are all people, that we all have feelings, desires, fears, anguish, joy, and love, and we can share all this with complete strangers in complete connection. Smiles are returned, tears are wiped gently away, hugs are given freely, with care, and without condition, and people are considerate of and respect those around them.
Afrikaburn is full of colour and life and energy and friends, known and unknown, and it is safe from the politics and blame and fear mongering that plagues the default world.
For the most part.
Afrikaburn is by no means perfect. It is an experiment that we continue to navigate. It does, however, reveal enough of an ideal that many of us miss in our regular life.
We are extremely varied as a people. And we are in an ongoing evolution, personally and as a society. And as we grow and change, we find different and better ways to connect, while remaining freely ourselves. It’s an ongoing process of learning and unlearning the behaviours and mindsets that best suit our respective journeys within our community.
Of course, this experiment has little purpose if its results remain restricted to the boundaries of Afrikaburn. Spreading the Burn principles helps make it become more of a default existence.
It’s simple enough to bring back parts of the dust with you. Smile more. Even if nobody returns your smile. Dress creatively. Even as people stare with wonder. Dance freely. Celebrate our cultural differences and similarities. Open your heart to those who need it, even if they are not yet ready to accept your generous energy. Gift your time to projects that better our existence. Gift food to those in need. Share ideas on how to take better care of our world. Lead by example. Awaken others by the way you live your vibrant life.
Afrikaburn is a mindset. And when we live this mindset more and more in our own lives, recognising that we are all part of the same species, the same planet, and that love and care need not be distributed in measured quantities nor according to obsolete rules, slowly slowly you will find more of your life inspiring and bringing out the Burner in the people around you.