When we talk gifting in Tankwa Town, much of our discourse is about the gift economy, its
distinction from bartering’s transactional exchange and recognition of gifting’s freedom
from reciprocity. We speak of an abundance mentality “the desert will provide” and the
general joy and release from our default behavior that gift giving provides for us. Throw in a round of responsibility and the conversation deepens around legality – not gifting alcohol tominors; and morality – consent between givers and willing and able receivers, in fact there’s a whole page dedicated to this in the Survival Guide.
And then each year, after a week of living this ideal, before we depart for the default, we’re
prompted by (AfrikaBurn’s signature bright yellow) “Collexodus” signs and volunteers to
extend our gift giving beyond the Binnekring.
But what of this portmanteau?
Collexodus /kəleksədəs/ n. doing your bit on departure by:
1 donating unopened canned and dry food for rural children
2 throwing DPW a lifeline by donating unopened snacks and booze
3 lightening the load for the journey home
Collexodus exists to help departing Burners put unopened food and beverages to good use
to aid DPW in their final furlongs of re turning our city to dust; and through Outreach to help keep local families above the breadline. When we are packing up and shipping out we do well to examine our motivations when gifting our provisions. Sure, technically there’s nutritional value in a half-eaten pack of chips or half loaf of bread, but with a side order of germs, benign or otherwise, it’s a no no…as is that half empty bottle of tequila that could be mostly piss. Likewise, the camping chair and umbrella that got blown to smithereens in the wind, that could be used for… well, something? –no no no! That’s all ours to take back home, because Collexodus (read: DPW and the local community) is not a feel-good dump site.
Other items that can’t be left behind at the Collexodus drop offs are perishable food items,
especially fresh fruit and veg, which to have any value require immediate distribution (hit
and run) amongst locals and exacerbates the scarcity mindset we’ve spent a week
“I was born in Africa … hearing one common song sung everywhere. It is the song of
scarcity…Even the span of life was said to be short because everything in Africa is in
short supply…The scarcity mindset breeds an attitude of competition and sets people
against each other.” – Pastor Kilton Moyo
To combat this, the Outreach portfolio places all of the gifted canned and dry food in the
school pantry as it is the most equitable way to distribute food in the community – by
feeding the children directly we can alleviate some of the financial burden for their parents.
It is also the method the least likely to breed scarcity mindset as it is drip-fed over many
months and supplemented by Outreach (i.e. all of us) financial support towards the school
feeding scheme by Outreach over the academic year. These are the kids that Collexodus donations assist with school meals throughout the year:
In a nutshell (and if you’ve eaten the nut don’t leave the shell either): no perishables…and no trash! Camp-to- camp collections will happen on Binnekring, Buitekring and 10ish Boulevard on Saturday and Sunday around 11h00.
Drop off at Gate and Greeters from Sunday around 07h00 to Monday 12h00
Collexodus volunteers welcome and are needed – sign up at the Info Booth at Off-Centre Camp.