Art Prospect & Trash 5 Festival

Artists from seven countries address issues of waste and pollution

September 22 - October 20, 2023
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

The Art Prospect & Trash 5 Festival “Interpreting the History of Pollution” is a partnership of the Art Prospect Festival, curated and produced by CEC ArtsLink in 5 countries since 2012, and the Trash Festival, initiated by the Bishkek School of Contemporary Art and Tazar Kyrgyzstan in 2010. The Festival brings together more than twenty artists from Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Switzerland, and the U.S. to collaborate on site-specific installations and performances dedicated to the issues of waste and pollution. They will share stories about pollution in their regions through workshops, contemporary art works, archival research, statistics, personal accounts, interactive installations from recycled materials, and performances. 

At the crossroads of art, science, and trash, the Festival develops tools and strategies to promote a better understanding of pollution and address this world-wide problem.

In response to geo-political and economic turbulence in the region, the Art Prospect & Trash 5 Festival focuses on the reinterpretation of history through the prism of its effect on our past and future and the rethinking of our present through environmental approaches.  Festival artists reflect on the history of social change through the ecological transformation of our land, air, and water. The Festival invites visitors to examine recent history and their surrounding environment and offers new perspectives to reinterpret the past and reimagine the future. During residencies in Bishkek, participating artists will share their stories, methodologies, and strategies as they collaboratively create temporary public art installations and performances for the Festival. 

The Art Prospect & Trash 5 Festival takes place in two locations in Bishkek: Altyn-Kazyk, a settlement located in the northwest outskirts of Bishkek close to the waste dump, and the Chuikov State Gallery in Oak Park. Artists will create site specific public art installations and performances in Altyn-Kazyk, an environmental and social disaster zone, where toxic smoke from the landfill is over 22 meters high and surrounds the area throughout the year.  Past Trash Festivals organized by the Bishkek School of Contemporary Art and local environmental activists have creatively brought attention to this environmental disaster through public art installations, performances, and most recently, the Library of Rescued Books, a community engagement project. An exhibition at the Chuikov State Gallery and site-specific installations and performances in Oak Park examine the morphology of trash and global waste and encourage visitors to become active and environmentally conscious citizens.

The Art Prospect & Trash 5  Festival is produced and curated by CEC ArtsLink, The Bishkek School of Contemporary Art (BiSCA), and Tazar Kyrgyzstan

The Art Prospect & Trash 5 Festival is supported by U.S. Embassies in Bishkek and Moscow, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, government of Switzerland, and the Pro Helvetia Foundation