Safe Planet and Project Ahoj! at the Respect World Music FestivalŠtavnice Island, Prague, June 16 - 17, 2012


Opening Reception at Muzeum Kampa: June 13

At Prague's Respect Music Festival, Project Ahoj! launched its multi-year campaign to educate the public about the hazards of plastic pollution and e-waste to both human health and the environment. From 2012 - 2015, Project Ahoj! will visit 'hot spots' of environmental degradation around the world including Nigeria, Bali, Hawai'i, Cameroon, Brazil, Norway and Croatia.

The Prague project was supported by ArtDialogue, 5Gyres Institute, Rachot, the US Embassy of Prague and the Norwegian Embassy of Prague.

Working at ArtMill with 5Gyres, ArtDialogue crafted a 'Junk Boat' made of 1000 recycled plastic bottles that traveled back and forth between a special e-waste recycling sculpture at Museum Kampa and the Respect Festival location on Štvanice Island. Leslie Moyers led the construction and design team which included Stephen Amato and international students learning about art and sustainability in ArtMill's Bohemian Workshops. The e-waste sculpture, entitled "Věž/Tower", was created by Barbara Benish and will serve as a receptacle for old or broken mobile phones which will be taken regularly to Prague Zoo where there is a permanent receptacle for this type of e-waste. Prague Zoo will receive 10 Kc for each phone and the money will be donated to support the keepers of the National Park in Cameroon that protect gorillas and other animals.

At the Respect Festival, the Safe Planet tent was among the many vendor booths that were set up for the crowds. The tent offered a relaxing place to cool off and a venue to see exhibited works by international and local artists including Barbara Benish (CZ/USA), Chris Jordan (USA), Rahmin Bahrani (USA), Dianne Cohen (USA) and Kai Löffelbein (Germany) as well as a screening room where award-winning films including Bag It!, Midway and Plastic Bag were shown.

The Respect World Music Festival was initiated in Prague in 1995 under the auspices of the current Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, Karel Schwarzenberg and was supported by the late President Vaclav Havel. Organized by Rachot Production in cooperation with Prague City Hall and the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the festival has a long tradition of presenting world music in an open atmosphere that promotes tolerance and democracy while celebrating international cultures. Held in an outside venue on an island in the Vltava River in the heart of Prague, the festival draws thousands of viewers each summer. One of the main goals of the project is to contribute to the development of a multicultural and non-judgmental society by presenting musical groups from different cultural regions and religious perspectives. It seeks to inform the audience about both the musical traditions of different cultures as well as about the complex political and social realities of different ethnic groups in the Czech Republic and worldwide.

More photos on ArtMill's website.