The Garden of Weeden

By |Published On: May 26th, 2023|

Afrikaburn 2023 – Garden of Weeden

Around 10 000 like-minded folk gathered at Tankwa Town in the Karoo for the annual Afrikaburn festival between the 24th and 30th April. This year with the theme: Space

AfrikaBurn is a large community of people that get together once a year to celebrate life and art.  They create art, wear awesome costumes, put on performances, set up theme camps, play music, and even make crazy mutant vehicles. And they do it all simply because they love it! It’s all about volunteering and sharing their talents with others. That’s amazing, right?

“AfrikaBurn is how life should be. It is the promise of how humanity could be and perhaps, would be again someday. Self-reliance and sharing. Self-expressed and community connected. Teaching. Listening. Learning. Hugging. Expressing. Being. Full of joy and pleasure, winking at life and flirting with the stars.” – Rebecca York DC,

The Jozi Burners Collective presented The Garden of Weeden, an Afrikaburn Theme camp. They were a camp with 8 mutant vehicles, and embarked on a massive build called Spaced Out, all set up to be burned in a spectacular fashion!

Lit up at night in the desert with green flood lights and edged with LEDs, this nearly 10-metre-high tribute to the Cannabis plant stood for 4 days before it was burnt, surrounded by thousands of onlookers. It was built by a team of 18 people working tirelessly over 3 months in Johannesburg and was then transported by truck over 1000kms and erected in the desert at the event. All in the name of art.

‘This was an amazing achievement by a very passionate group of hard-working people who love this miracle plant’ says Cliff Giesenow, a well-known figure in the South African Cannabis industry and co-founder of the Cannabis Trade Association of Africa (CTAA).

Cliff, who was a participant and member of the Garden of Weeden theme camp that did the build, says 3 months’ worth of hard labour went into this project with endless hours of preparation, cutting and drilling of scrap wood donated to the project.

On the night of the burn, 1000 pre-rolled joints were handed out to the crowd who encircled the giant leaf. Each joint came with a note that asked the crowd to ‘Light up when we light up’, in communal celebration and honour of the miracle plant, which can be used to provide food, medicine, housing, fuel, clothing and a host of other things.

Imagined and driven by visionary and regular Afrikaburn attendee, Greg Mulford, along with his theme camp team, they brought this ‘burn’ project to life. The monumental piece of art served as a way to highlight that Cannabis should be made available to all across the planet and that a plant should not be criminalized.

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About the Author: Jo

Production Manager - Hotbox Show

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