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Sound and Silence

when necessary, use words

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The Sout Project on YouTube

I have uploaded a Sout Project introductory video to YouTube:

Story : a hymn

This is a hymn in house style called “Story”. It takes the tune of “Be thou my vision”, whose origins are Irish from the 8th Century. It is from the upcoming album of postmodern sacred community songs “Sout by North West” by the Sout Project.

This rewrite is based on Brian McLarens new myths for “church” or “Kingdom” as suggested in his “The Secret Message of Jesus”. These include the dream, revolution, party, dance, and network, of God.

More on this soon…

Story

Yours is my story, O Lord of my heart
Yours is the journey of which I am part
Yours is my dream, by day and by night
Waking or sleeping your presence my light Continue reading “Story : a hymn”

The European Post-Colonial

“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.” [Desmond Tutu]

“I went to India to find the other half of my soul”. [Bede Griffiths]

amahoroI have just spent a magical week at the 3rd Amahoro Conference at the YFC Cyara Centre near Johannesburg, South Africa.

Above all things this was a conversation involving probably 300 people, from countries including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Ghana, UK, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and Dominican Republic.

In recent years I have become aware of what can be described as the “post modern condition”. This epiphany has been instrumental in my current spiritual awakening. To accept that I have moved beyond modernity has meant that I now find myself in a new “framing story” in which God’s word, revelation and mission, can be fundamentally freshly understood. Continue reading “The European Post-Colonial”

Interview: Brendan Smithers

Brendan Smithers is the prime mover and “Drill Sergeant” for the Upsetters, who created The Turbine for Africa Burns 2007 and The Wish for 2008, as well as being involved in the creation of the San Clan (Man) itself. As much as anyone else he has made his mark on the Festival, predominantly in his large scale work. So what thoughts lead to such powerful, iconic pieces?

Night
The Wish : Night

It started with The Turbine in 2007… Continue reading “Interview: Brendan Smithers”

Soop – Sound (Waves) Out Of Place

“Which is more musical; a truck passing by a factory or a truck passing by a music school?”  John Cage

Welcome to Moop

One of the many delightful new ideas brought to us via Burner Culture is that of moop – “matter out of place”. Meaning predominantly litter and detritus, but also things inappropriately placed. One of the 10 Burner principles is “Leave no trace”, and is designed to make us wasteful westerners think twice about how we interact with the environment.

Afrika Burn (and far more so its parent Burning Man) is not a simple back-to-nature event, despite a strong stream of green awareness and survivalist minimalism. It is more than that, and incorporates at times almost impossibly complex structures bordering on madness, and requiring truckloads of materials and months of preparation. The central piece of Tankwa Town, The Wish by the Upsetters, for example, is an 8 M high spherical installation of hoops within hoops, meticulously designed, transported and assembled for the pleasure of all. Continue reading “Soop – Sound (Waves) Out Of Place”

An Economy of Grace

I have been reflecting on Afrika Burn 2008, with 2 articles, a general synopsis called “AB08 scorecard” and a cheeky cultural crit called “Soop – Sound (Waves) Out Of Place“. But now I want to get to the heart of the experience, from the point of view of the theme camp that our community set up, Sanctuary. Continue reading “An Economy of Grace”

Afrika Burn 2008 syncroblog

Calling all … all blogging burners, survivalist aesthetes, desert rats, sacred activists, uberjollers, gonzo journalists, hippies reincarnate, diehard libertarians, cultural creatives, nieue afrikaanians, glocal emergents, even just voyers, lurkers and wannabes.

Going out on Monday 26 October 2008, participate in a post-AB08 synbcroblog. Reflect collectively on our experience in words and images.

For those who haven’t done so, a syncroblog is a peer-to-peer similtaneous blog posting, in which you contribute your offering together with links from all other participants to theirs. This way we can host in our usual online space but still be linked to each other. Once your post URL is ready, submit it to me here via a comment and I will compile the list of participants. You can then copy and paste it into your own blog post.

So on Monday 26th (1 week after the event), first thing am, I will create the list and post it here. Copy it and edit your offering, and the syncroblog is away. It’s a great way to get an overview, and for lazy press hacks to purloin plenty of excellant material concerning local Burner Culture. But, in a gifting economy, plagiarism is impossible, right?

protest.attest

“You pro-test before you can at-test” Paul Ricœur, in conversation at the Taizé community.

“The removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” Heb 12:27, NIV

“What would Jesus deconstruct?” John Caputo

Those who have been part of a transformation from a culture of protest will know, it’s far easier to oppose something than to create it.

It’s easy to destroy. Destruction takes a measure of anger and a short sharp shot, and it’s “over”.

The card pyramid that took 5 minutes to erect, flattened in a second. The act of courage which took many months to build up, quashed. The trust which gently overcame fear, vanquished. The slight that was cast on a families pride, avenged. Continue reading “protest.attest”

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