With an event as photogenic as our gathering in the Tankwa Karoo is, it’s no surprise that many hundreds of photographers pro and amateur have taken countless numbers of shots over the years. The only surprise is that it’s taken so long for someone to take the next step and publish a book that captures the dust, art and flames – but here it is: Simon O’Callaghan’s ‘BURN: Into The Flames of Burning Art’!
Having participated in AfrikaBurn since 2008, Simon has been involved in a range of artwork and mutant vehicle projects, as a member of the Fata Morgana crew. It’s they who you can thank for Lizzie the life-size flaming T-Rex, the Vlam show (including burning polar bears and the ‘boxing bunnies’) and also ‘Bakgatti’, the oversize touring mutant car. Beyond his hand in those projects, Simon’s also set up a portrait studio on site a few times, and has captured hundreds of burners in their costumes and event crew in their work clothes. In his book, he’s brought all of these together, along with documentary shots of many of the largest artworks that have been built and burned in Tankwa Town.
The book is documentary in nature – and it’s also Simon’s personal journey, whether at AfrikaBurn and at Burning Man. Having been the lad on our Photography portfolio for over 4 years, Simon’s intention with this (self-published) book has been to set an example for future books that capture our event, community and culture: profits from it will be going toward an art fund, to support future works.
In the process of prepping the content, Simon personally contacted 470 people, all of whose permission had to be sought out – because consent’s a big deal for all of us involved in this crazy experiment. If you were at AfrikaBurn between 2008 and 2017, chances are pretty good you’ll see many faces and costumes that are familiar when paging through the book.
Congrats to Simon for all the hard work – and huge thanks for always being there to capture so many of the faces and experiences that we all create together!
The book is for sale, and copies are flying, so get ’em while you can here.