After our 2018 event, our Ticketing team – who manage our gate, tickets and wristbands – were approached by a member of the German burner community and designer Severin Taranko with a proposal: he wanted to make the creation of our 2019 wristbands an art project in its own right, and offered to lead the process by doing research into our event, the cultural history of the Tankwa Karoo, and using these threads of inspiration, design the full range of our event wristbands.
This isn’t the first time that Severin has embarked on an ambitious project of this nature – in 2010, he participated in his first Burning Man, and decided thereafter that he would like to design and produce wristbands as his gift to the community.
The result was a range of amazing designs that were produced in line with each year’s theme – and fabricated as high-quality woven fabric wristbands that would last long after the events. After participating in AfrikaBurn last year, he was inspired to do the same – only this time, instead of designing and producing a few hundred wristbands like at Burning Man, he wanted to produce all of our event wristbands – and crowdsource the funds required to cover the cost.
As an artist, and as a starting point for the design of our 2019 wristbands, Severin requested that our operations team send him input about their most treasured memories of our events over the years, and also for cultural information about the location of our event and the history of the area.
The result is a concept that draws on the mythology of our First Nations people, whose rock art has inspired the San Clan symbol that stands for our AfrikaBurn identity, and is the basis from which inspiration for each year’s Clan effigy is drawn. Specifically, Severin has drawn on the concept of the ‘Thinking Strings’ that feature in San mythology. The Thinking Strings are “threads of consciousness (or thoughts) interwoven with the sounds of nature.”
This, in combination with our 2019 theme of ‘Ephemeropolis’ has become the basis for his designs – which are now in process ahead of our event. The final designs will also incorporate iconic artworks and symbols that have defined the history of our event, since 2007 to the present.
To find out more, to view his plans and concept images, and to see ways in which you can support this project, head over to Severin’s website.
We look forward to seeing what comes of this!