After some time, and a few life lessons…

12 weeks since my last post… somehow it feels much longer yet as though only a moment has passed.

In the last 12 weeks I have

procured, packed and logistically managed the transport of everything and everyone it takes to host a week long festival for 9000 people, 160km away from “civilisation”

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spent 7 weeks living in this remote place, building, restoring, moving and putting up everything it takes to host a week long festival for 9000 people…

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broken and regrown a collar bone

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cried, laughed, shouted, bitched, rejoiced, sang, reflected, wondered… grown, explored

I have made new friends and reconnected to old ones, grown closer to my amazing brother, overcome personal fears and boundaries, surprised myself… 

The universe (or was it the Binnekring, or is that the same thing?) decided that living in a semi-desert in a tent, managing 40 strong willed hippies and setting up a massive festival isn’t enough of a challenge, I should attempt to do it with one hand tied to my body. Pain is love right..? So on day 15 of 48 I woke up with a hangover and a broken clavicle. 

All the preconceived ideas I had about how I was going to enjoy the party that is AfrikaBurn this year went out the door as I hung around the edges of dance floors (scared of getting bumped by enthusiastic dancers) swaying gently to the thumping music. After a few minutes I would leave my friends to dance and I would walk around just ‘taking it all in’. What is this things we have created, what does it mean to people, what does it mean to me…? 

I do not know if I have the answers, but I do realise the changes it has brought to my life, my outlook, my point of view.

Our society is fucked up. The state of the nation is poor, the world is in desperate need of a ‘check yourself before you wreck yourself’. Humanity is in dire straits. 

Things that upset me most upon re-entering what we like to call civilisation?

Litter, MOOP, trash… People’s general disregard for nature, spaces, where they live and how they live. On the first Sunday we were back I was driving on the highway when I saw someone throw a plastic bottle out of his car. I hooted, flipped him off, and burst into tears. WTF is wrong with us!?!

Advertising, brands, money, capitalism… and the levels of inequality in our society. It upsets me to no end to sit in my fucked up car at a traffic light and watch an old woman begging in the pissing rain… only to be ignored by people in million Rand cars. Where is your compassion, where is the love, how do you sleep at night?

Seeing you in your designer gear, with your perfectly manicured nails and your R1000 hairstyle, engaged in your iPhone while waiting for a flat white REALLY upsets me. I want you to wake up, I want you to not spend your money on useless brands and labels that only feed your ego. I realise your right to self-expression (one of our guiding principals at AfrikaBurn) allows you to spend your money in which ever way you see fit. I just wish you saw it more fit to spend it on someone’s health, or housing, education or keeping them warm in this freezing winter you tweet about so regularly (with pictures of overpriced fur lined boots).

The inevitable ‘what next, where to now’ questions from friends and family. The last two years, come early June, I  have packed a backpack full of summer things and boarded a plane for Barcelona. Three months of European summer to cure any winter blues and ignore any serious commitments. This year I decided not to do that, and with that comes a whole other can of worms… 

Or maybe a whole other blog post. 

Hey world, I am back. Happy winter… 

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4 thoughts on “After some time, and a few life lessons…

  1. i so love your story . i can not feel it more with you . the good news is that there are people like you that are making the world better . so lets give it our all and make this beautiful world of us shine bright to the rest of the the universe so that all can see we care . batalion thank you and love you for you are awesome .

  2. Pingback: Don’t worry, be an example now. | take.note

  3. Must say I can quite relate. Things people here worry about right now: how the Belgian national team will play at the World Cup in Brazil, who will pay to fix the dents in their cars because of the rain (a national disaster!), the king’s TV interview. This first world is so distant from mine, I feel like an alien. And every Burn I go to just seems to alienate me more from the default world. Still, I’m very glad it does. ;)

  4. My dear friend,

    Sometimes I cry thinking about how stuck we are. It happens too when I get back in the mainstrain society and it makes me remember how single in my life I could be. What I chose to do and the radicality I embrassed leave a small space for close relationships. Without Internet, without reading what’s above, without listening to what a friend share on FB (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8j8BmgeYLA&feature=kp), I would feel really alone. The irony is Internet has also a lot to do with how fuck people are.

    You talk about compassion and love but are you getting yourself about all this non-sense addicts ? Why are they acting like this ? What is the difference between us ? I think some of us has been better equiped than others and wether we chose to control the world or to empower its beings, we shape it. I guess you and I are belonging to the second group and sometimes we can be fed up with the lack of concerns we see around but what the difference with the big company top manager (and politician) complaining on TV about how lazy people are, which explain for him why there is so much unemployment, violence, rape… ? No matter on which side of the game you are, some follows other and some will be more like guides.

    I recently switch on the idea that as someone who is (certainly) better equiped, I just have to deal with that. I guess am now more compassionate, understanding, touched, willing to help and less judgy… moreover, I feel less and less anger. But I confess, I can be really tired.

    With all my love,

    Your smelly french friend,

    Winnie

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