We were thrilled to be at the international eco-art festival “Interpreting the History of Pollution – Art Prospect & TRASH-5” in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on September 20 – October 22, and to share the field notes in photos. This year’s festival brought over fifty artists from seven countries to create contemporary art installations, performances, and public educational events.
At the intersection of art, science, and trash, the Festival promoted a better understanding of pollution, waste management, and strategies to address these intractable world-wide issues.
A collaboration between CEC ArtsLink, the Bishkek School of Contemporary Art (BiSCA) and Tazar Kyrgyzstan, the Festival took place throughout Bishkek and in the outskirts. At the Oak Park gallery and other venues and public spaces, exhibitions focused the public’s attention on the morphology of trash and global waste and encouraged the audience’s understanding of the impact of the pollution on their communities. In Altyn-Kazyk, a settlement on the outskirts of Bishkek near the city landfill where toxic smoke envelopes the area throughout the year, artists worked on site specific installations and performances. Past Trash Festivals organized by BiSCA and local activists have brought attention to this environmental and social crisis zone.
October 18, 2023