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Interpreting the History of Pollution - Art Prospect & TRASH 5 

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Locations: Oak Park Gallery (78a Pushkin Street) and the Library of Saved Books (Altyn Kazyk settlement, Bishkek)

September 22 - October 19, 2023

The Art Prospect & Trash 5 Festival unites two international festivals of public art: 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 since 2010. This Festival brings together more than twenty artists from Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Switzerland, and the United States to collaborate on the creation of site-specific installations and performances dedicated to the problem of waste. At the crossroads of art, science, and trash, the Festival aims to develop tools and strategies to promote a better understanding of pollution and address this world-wide problem. Festival participants will share stories about pollution in their region through contemporary art works, archival research, statistics, personal accounts, interactive installations from recycled materials, and performances.  


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.  Through visual and performative art works, 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.



CEC ArtsLink, Tazar Kyrgyzstan, The Bishkek School of Contemporary Art (BiSCA)

More about organizers and the festivals


CEC ArtsLink supports dialogue between artists and communities through individual encounters, public events, transnational networks, and virtual platforms. Founded in 1962, CEC ArtsLink believed that it was essential for citizens of the United States and the Soviet Union to meet and build mutual trust, while their governments engaged in the Cold War. Today, artists and arts leaders play a vital role in nurturing civil societies. Through the simple act of bringing people together in a shared experience, through exploration of the unfamiliar, art can dissolve borders and help communities overcome distrust and insularity. As nations increasingly retreat behind their borders, it becomes imperative for the work of artists and arts leaders to catalyze communities in mitigating conflict and prejudice locally, nationally, and globally.;;

instagram: CEC ArtsLink (@cec_artslink)


The Bishkek School of Contemporary Art (BiSCA) is an informal, self-organizing association and dynamic platform that accumulates and promotes practices, reflections, and art experiences in its various manifestations both at the level of mediums and at the level of artistic solutions/gestures / acts. Its platform functions on the principle of circulation, accumulation, formation of “knowledge” about art, creation of a space for communication, interchange, and, possibly, but not necessarily, will contribute to the development of a methodological and theoretical basis, the creation of archival space and practices for the implementation of contemporary art in Kyrgyzstan and beyond.;;;

instagram: @bishkek_art_school. 

Tazar Kyrgyzstan is a sorting and recycling platform and mobile application in Kyrgyzstan. They teach citizens how to properly separate waste and dispose of their garbage/waste/recyclables in collecting locations or recycling factories. Tazar spreads information about recycling and disposal in Bishkek and regionally and teach businesses and HORECA to take responsibility for their ecological footprint.;


Download the Tazar app: App Store and Play Market.


The project is funded by the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Russia, the U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic, the Trust for Mutual Understanding and The Kettering Family Foundations, the Embassy of Switzerland in the Kyrgyz Republic, and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia

The Art Prospect Festival

ART PROSPECT is a transnational network of independent arts organizations promoting the transformative power of the arts to address social and environmental issues and engage and empower local communities. The Art Prospect Festival showcases innovative art projects that activate public space and promotes international collaboration and community engagement. Art Prospect invites artists from around the world to transform familiar urban landscapes with temporary, site-specific, and participatory art works and performances addressing local concerns, histories, and culture. Since 2012 the Art Prospect Festival has taken place in St. Petersburg, Russia; Baku, Azerbaijan; Tbilisi, Georgia; Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; Kyiv, Ukraine, and online. In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, CEC ArtsLink closed its office in St. Petersburg and ceased all public projects in Russia. However, we continue to support the independent professional arts community through the Art Prospect Platform’s research-based residencies for artists and curators, educational programs, and public art festivals.

The Trash Festival

The Trash Festival and the Library of Rescued Books are an initiative of Tazar Kyrgyzstan and the Bishkek School of Contemporary Art. The Festival was started in 2010 by graduates of the School of Contemporary Art ArtEast, initiated by Gulnara Kasmalieva and Murat Djumaliev. Since it began its intention did not change - artists, together with environmentalists, activists, and citizens, strive to draw attention to environmental pollution with the tools of art.



Organizers and curators: Tazar Kyrgyzstan (Aimeerim Tursalieva, Irina Agofonova, Begimai Zhunusova ), CEC ArtsLink (Susan Katz, Lizaveta Matveeva, Natalia Shapkina, Anastasia Skvortsova), Bishkek School of Contemporary Art (Bermet Borubaeva, Oksana Kapishnikova)

Curator of the public program "Ecology of Consciousness: Upcycling": Diana Ukhina (Bishkek School of Contemporary Art, SYNERGY art studio)

Production managers and works installation: Begimai Zhunusova, Bermet Borubaeva, Aimeerim Tursalieva, Munara Borombaeva, Diana Ukhina, Ravshan ta Jing, Talgat Berikov

PR: Nurzhan Chunueva

SMM: Adel Ismailkhanova

Designer: Maria Kheysina

Artists: Alena Abitova & Begimay Zairbek Kyzy (Kyrgyzstan), Cholpon Alamanova & Altyn Kapalova (Kyrgyzstan), Rakhat Asangulova (Kyrgyzstan), Cathy Byrd (USA), Antonin Brinda (Czech Republic), Nellya Dzamanbaeva (Kyrgyzstan), Ellen Harvey (USA), GLUKLYA / Natalia Pershina-Jakimanskaya (Russia/ The Netherlands), Kendal Henry (USA), Adel Ismailkhanova (Kyrgyzstan), Ermek Jaenisch  (Kyrgyzstan), Syinat Joldosheva (Kyrgyzstan), Chynarkul Jusupkeldieva (Kyrgyzstan), Anton Karmanov (Russia), Kirpi (Kyrgyzstan), Chingiz Narynov (Kyrgyzstan), Zarina Nazarbek kyzy (Kyrgyzstan), sTo Len (USA), Lera Lerner (Russia), the Laboratory of Climate Solutions (Olga Mnishko, Ilya Kuleshov, Nurzhan Chunueva, Dmitry Pereyaslavsky), the Library of Saved Books group (Kyrgyzstan), Iara Lee (Brazil) & Nthabiseng TeReo Mohanela (Lesotho), Anna Martynenko (Russia), Nurperi Orunbaeva (Kyrgyzstan), Dmitrii Petrovskii DOXA (Kyrgyzstan), Anton Polsky MAKE (Russia/ Germany), Rahat Joroeva & Alienora Kurmanbekova, Eco-Batken (Kyrgyzstan), Ronja Römmelt & Sara Koller (Switzerland), Ilya Sibiryakov (Russia), Steven Siegel (USA), Mishiko Sulakauri (Georgia), Saule Suleimanova (Kazakhstan), Textile Zero Waste (Bermet Borubaeva, Aimeerim Tursalieva, Oksana Kapishnikova, Kyrgyzstan), Yaroslav Tartykov (Kyrgyzstan), Alima Tokmergenova (Kyrgyzstan), Diana Ukhina (Kyrgyzstan), Vladislav Ushakov (EcoMir) & Gamal Soronkulov, Iskender Aliev (Kyrgyzstan), Chingiz Aidarov & Sasha Filatova (Kyrgyzstan), Mirrahim Opposh - Sherden (Kyrgyzstan), Yntysh Abdyldaev (Kyrgyzstan); Umsunai MusaevaAdelia Aitymbetova , Akgul Omurakunova, Janyshbek Botoi, Aidai Musabekova - Art Jashoo (Kyrgyzstan);  Idiris kyzy Dinara, Karagulov Argen, Taalaibek kyzy Anara, Kaseinov Jyldyzbek, Ainura Kachkynbek kyzy ; Crafts by Unknown Artisans (Kyrgyzstan).

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