Prayer flags made out of 1,000 discarded beer cans and printed with real and fictitious mantras to bring attention to this problem in the world

“We collected 1,000 discarded beer cans to build an installation in front of Sagarmatha Next, the gateway to the Everest region, to bring some attention to this problem to the world, or at least to the 1000s of tourists who pass by it every month”.

By Rocco and his brothers

Reinhold's Mess

Valleys full of plastic bags, river beds full of excrements, mountains of tin cans and indefinable wild garbage dumps of all kinds. Even in the Mount Everest region of Nepal, the roof of the world, the Western prosperity model is taking its toll. Tens of thousands of trekking and mountaineering tourists take home plenty of photos to show off but leave behind trash that can hardly be removed.

With the help of Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC) and Sagarmatha Next, we collected 1000 empty and discarded beer cans and built an installation in front of this museum, 500 m above Namche Bazar, the gateway to the Everest region.

Aluminum prayer flags, printed with real and fictitious mantras, which, true to the original model, may bring some attention to this problem in the world. Or at least to the 1000s of tourists who pass by it every month.

Segments of the installation were transported about 130 km and 10,000 meters of altitude to the heart of Everest tourism: Mt Everest Basecamp.

HOW IT STARTED

The beginning of Waste to Art

In 2011 a group of Nepali artists led by the art group DA MIND TREE, decided to convert waste into art. As part of the annual Saving Everest Clean-up campaign, waste was collected and brought down to Kathmandu, and part of that waste was given to these young artists.

After months of hard work, the waste was transformed into beautiful sculptures and exhibited in Kathmandu. Tommy Gustafsson, our co-founder and Project Director, was impressed by the work of these talented artists, and decided to take some of the sculptures to Europe where they were sold for several thousand dollars each. The concept of turning non valuable waste into valuable artwork seemed viable.

Years later while ideating the concept of Sagarmatha Next, our founders were thinking of innovative ways to sensitize the locals and visitors of the ever growing environmental challenges in the Khumbu region. And what better way to reach large audiences than through art and visually representing the solution. This is how Waste to Art started – a solution to repurpose the waste that is left behind in the Khumbu region.

About the artist

Rocco and his brothers

Born in the 1980s, Rocco and his brothers have been part of the local graffiti scene since 2000. Autonomous art-making and the appropriation of space gave rise to socio-political art actions and satirical works.

In January 2016, the collective “Rocco & his brothers” was founded to realise larger installations in public space. Their very first work, the “Berlin Underground Room”, had an enormous media echo.Since then, they have made many actions and exhibitions at irregular intervals.

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