Meet our new Comms 2iC: Jo Legutko

Mar 28, 2022

We are doing some reshuffling in the Comms team, with the result that Jo Legutko, our EFP writer, is stepping into the Comms 2iC role, and we have room to recruit new EFP writers now (The Best Job!!!). 

What follows is an interview by Jo with Jo on what Jo does:

What’s your thing with the Burn? How did you get involved?

I’m a seasoned (salty, spicy, a little sweet) Afrikaburner – when I lived in Cape Town I went to six Afrikaburns. I ran theme camps, made mutant vehicles, and caused havoc, but I never volunteered for a year round role. When I came to New Zealand 2 years ago, I contacted Kiwiburn and applied for the Newsletter writer role in order to build community – I wanted to go to the Burn but didn’t know anyone who was going, and this seemed like a good way to fix that. I like writing and understand the Burner ethos so could get the tone right. And it all worked, I went to the Burn, I had a lovely camp, and I made art (the Reality Glitch piece!)

How’s Afrikaburn different from Kiwiburn?

Great question! I have been working on a whole list:

  • The obvious stuff: 12,000 participants, in a desert, in Africa, for 7 days – the weather is hectic, the desert is harsh, the size makes for a different kind of experience. There is no river. There is no shade.
  • But then there are small differences too:
    • AB has dozens of burns – I was surprised there were only two at KB
    • In general, there is more fire: most camps will have a brazier going in the evening to keep warm, and there are some sculptures that are permanently on fire like giant stoves
    • The Effigy run happens – people strip and run – but the participation in that is much less universal. There are the runners and the watchers. And every burn gets the runners, not just Effigy.
    • There is a slightly rougher attitude. I call it less hippie more punk. It might the the Mad Max vibes of the desert, but the prankster counterculture kind of vibe is stronger at AB 
    • Costumes at AB are an art form! Some really big crazy outfits people take the whole year to put together, like an artwork
    • Photography is much more prevalent and accepted at AB – we were experimenting with “opt-out” bracelets for people who DIDN’T want to be in pics. In general, people take pics and they end up online.
    • Together with that, there is a much higher level of default world familiarity and acceptance of AB – many people know what it is, and it’s kind of a slightly crazy badge of honour to be going. Most people are honest about their participation, and even proud to be a Burner openly.
    • We have an extra principle: 11 – Each One Teach One. It’s about how we educate each other about the Burn.

What’s this role all about? 

Comms looks after the outward facing side of the Burn – the Website, FB page, socials in general, the Newsletter and other associated things like photography. I have been working closely with Julia (our wonderful Comms Facilitator) on the Newsletter, but I am keen to see how all the threads tie together and how initiatives link up and how this whole Burn baby gets made (lots of bumping in the night, 9 months of nausea and sore backs, and then a painful delivery followed by a week on pain medication? YES). So yea, here I am, stepping up a bit. Don’t expect me to leave the Newsletter alone though I love writing it!

What’s your best Burn memory?

Afrikaburn, driving my Magic Carpet, singing “I can show you the World” at the top of my croaky voice. At sunset. Oh my, AB gives good sunset! But yea, giving lifts in my mutant vehicle is such a fun lovely thing to do and it literally makes people’s day! 

What are you hoping for KB2023? 

That it happens? Yea, that. Also, to find my creative mojo again and make more art!

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