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San Clan 2009 Masked Photographer 2009 Hand of Man 2011 Light Sculpture 2008

Guiding Principles

So here’s the deal: AfrikaBurn is a community of participants guided by a set of principles.  They’re the same set of ideals that guide and inform Burning Man (of which AfrikaBurn is a regional event) with the addition of a new one – Each One Teach One – that encourages the sharing of knowledge.

These principles aren’t commandments, and they’re not rules – they’re ideals that offer guidelines to how we as a community can reinvent the world, and ourselves.

Guiding Principles

 

RADICAL INCLUSION

Anyone may be a part of AfrikaBurn. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community. This means that anyone can partake.

GIFTING

We are devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

DECOMMODIFICATION

In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

RADICAL SELF-RELIANCE

AfrikaBurn encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

RADICAL SELF-EXPRESSION

Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

COMMUNAL EFFORT

Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY

We value civil society. Community members who organise events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with national and local laws.

LEAVING NO TRACE

Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

PARTICIPATION

Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe 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.

IMMEDIACY

Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

EACH ONE TEACH ONE

As a self-reliant community, we believe the responsibility of spreading our culture lies with each and every one of us. All of us are custodians of our culture – when the opportunity presents itself, we pass knowledge on.

 

 

Translated versions:

isiXhosa
isiZulu
Kiswahili
Français
Afrikaans
Español
Nederlands

We’d really like to get these 11 principles translated into many more languages, including Sesotho, Sesotho sa Leboa, Setswana, Sepedi, and Xitsonga, isiNdebele, Tshivenda and more – if you have any suggestions, or if you’re interested in helping us to make that happen, or know anyone who might be, please get in touch by emailing info@afrikaburn.com.

Many thanks to Andile Mdakane, Craigieji Makhosi, David Albert Michael Amira, Ryno Smit, Raphaël Ariello, Paula Giusti and Arthur Zuijlen for their assistance in translating the versions you see above!