Gregor Rohrig attends AfrikaBurn
for the first time, camera in hand.
SINCE 2007, AFRIKABURN emerges once a year in the Karoo, a semi-desert region of South Africa. The hot and dusty plains of the Tankwa National Park attract over 2000 participants from all over with this event, which has been described by many participants as an experiment in community, radical self-expression, and self-reliance — a festival in line with that of renowned Burning Man
During the day, the dusty desert heat prevails and people interact, exhibit, and relax. But once the sun sets and the orange dusk fades to darkness, the Karoo life takes a new shape with music, lights, dance, and fire.
As a first timer, I was unprepared for the creative chaos I witnessed. Even as a photographer, at times I felt slightly overwhelmed, losing my focus, trying to compose images while trying to absorb what was actually going on. This set of images is just a glimpse of AfrikaBurn.
All photos by Gregor Rohrig who retains all rights.
These are not the Pyramids of Giza
- these are the Pyramids of Tankwa Town, installation art at AfrikaBurn.
The quirky Killer Whale bike on a trip across the sands, past all the themed camp sites and art installations.
One of many installations, a huge wooden tarantula creeping through the desert.
Young Ruby jumps on her trampoline, enjoying the cool afternoon breeze.
A huge gorilla puppet among the inhabitants of AfrikaBurn dressed up in hats, glasses, and vivid colours.
Analogous to the Man at Burning Man, the main sculpture here is the San Clan. It's designed to look like a Sanrock art glyph of a group of people, and to convey the idea of unity and community at the event.
A wedding procession with the bride sitting at the helm of the customized desert motorbike.
Blowing bubbles and taking self portraits -- when the sun sets, the people come out to play.
A metal dog sculpture stands firm on the desert ground.
Father and daughters enjoying a ride in the shark bike
Driving boats lit with hundreds of lights and pumping music behind; fire acrobats spinning and throwing fire through the air in the foreground.
The notes on this wooden heart are all messages to lost loved ones. The heart is burnt, and the messages rise into the atmosphere.
One of many photographic moments.
The San Clan burns.
Once the San Clan collapsed into one high heap of ash and fire, people started celebrating...
...with and without clothes on.