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Creating Art in Tankwa Town

Interested in creating spectacular art for AfrikaBurn? Here’s where you can find out all you need to know about making art in Tankwa Town.

Artworks are never just artworks – they’re physical manifestations of the communal effort and invention that participants are practicing in the experiment that is AfrikaBurn. You don’t have to be an artist to create art pieces on the Binnekring – everyone’s welcome to create art in Tankwa Town!

This section contains everything you need to know on how to bring, build, register your project with us, and remove it at the end of the event – and how to get involved. If, after reading it all, your question isn’t answered, please email art@afrikaburn.com.

Artwork, Theme Camp and Performance project registrations for 2017 end on Friday 4th March.

If you miss these deadlines, you’ll have to register your creative project at the Arteria booth at Off-Centre Camp, at the event, with the exception of Mutant Vehicles, which are not allowed to arrive on site without being pre-registered with our DMV.

So, here’s a list of all the stuff you need to know:




The challenge and freedom you have at Tankwa Town is to create something that will inspire, engage, question, puzzle, amuse, seduce, generally rub up against and influence the citizens of Tankwa Town. Interactive work convenes society around itself – it generates roles, provokes actions and transforms participants into active contributors to a creative process.

Participants at Tankwa Town are encouraged to explore and interact with the art, and may well find themselves helping an artist to build a structure or performing some task to activate an art object. Touching, climbing, entering, engaging and exploring are encouraged – think about this when designing and dreaming up your piece.  


Anyone making a commitment to creating art at Tankwa Town must take responsibility for all aspects of that creation. From filling out the art registration form, participating a dialogue with us, arriving on at Tankwa Town, protecting your art, and cleanup accountability, every aspect of creating art must be taken seriously.

  • Artwork must be sufficiently secured against high winds and intense weather conditions that often arise in the desert. If there are guy wires that are necessary to the construction, they must be marked with flags and lighting.
  • Artwork must be sufficiently illuminated at night, including rebar, guy wires and any other part of the installation that somebody could crash into. This includes lighting your build materials before you finish creating your art installation. It’s a good idea to use something that can’t be stolen or removed.
  • Camping’s not allowed at any artwork on the Binnekring during the event.

The mighty environmental challenge

Consider the extreme physical conditions of the desert, the logistics of transporting building materials and equipment to this remote site, and the difficulty of maintaining tools and equipment in a place that is literally in the middle of nowhere. Consider too, the inherently chaotic nature of our desert experiment. Plan thoroughly and be patient. Your creation may not happen in precisely the way you envision it, and that’s okay. The struggle to adapt and to survive is an essential part of this experience and can lead to unexpected discoveries, both about your art as well as yourself.


Art installations on the Binnekring may contain ambient sound elements that are integral to the installation, but we don’t allow the construction of DJ booths as part of artworks unless they’re to be placed at the far reaches of our city. This is because some installations require a quiet area, and amplified music nearby makes that impossible. If you’re creating an art installation that contains amplified music, you need to inform us of this so the right placement can be achieved.

Cleanup Accountability – To Burn Or Not To Burn

Everything you bring to the desert to live, create and burn MUST BE REMOVED. Nothing, absolutely nothing, should be left at your art site or camp when you leave. Cleaning up and Leaving No Trace are paramount.


After you fill out the art/performance/theme camp registration questionnaire, someone from our Art Team will contact you, ready to help and assist you. We need as much information as you can possibly give us, including a descriptions and diagrams of your piece. Participating in a dialogue with you about your artwork will enable us to help make your Tankwa Town experience as gratifying and satisfying as possible.