The Art of Recycle Award was launched in 2018 by UNESCO and Coca-Cola Foundation, with the aim of calling for creative and artistic project ideas that reuse plastic and aluminum waste and promote sustainable alternative materials. The Awards reached two targeted groups: students and local communities and artists and designers, with a Jury Board comprised of representatives from Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, national and international artists and environmental experts, chaired by Dr. Jane Gavan, Senior Lecturer in Visual Art, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.
Two winning proposal (first place winners) were selected to implement and installed at public space in Cu Lao Cham Island. First place for Group of Artists and Designers was given to the proposal Giant Puppet of Phan Tuan Quoc and Mekongaholics Volunteers. The first place winner for Group of Students and Communities was for Scrapbots, designed by Hoang Hai Nam, Pham Ha Trang and Bui Ngoc Minh.
After the Art of Recycle Awards of the first phase (between October 2018 and May 2019), the winner groups implemented a range of meaningful activities. On 31 March 2019, UNESCO team and winners group participated to a forum with up to 20 local CSOs, companies that are member of Hoi An Tourism Association and NGOs which are active in showing their practices in promoting organic, sustainable products, services and eco-friendly lifestyles.
Exploration of Cultural Expression through Recycled Art is a series of workshops and activities inspired by the Art of Recycle Awards in which Mekongaholics was the first-place winner earlier this year. The workshop Waste to Puppet opened to audiences interested in puppets as well as artists working in environmental media in Ho Chi Minh City from 11-13 October 2019. The puppetry-based workshop inspired participants with self-dialogue and interaction with other participants, which was available for everyone, from senior artists to people seeking a method of enjoying life in the connection to a peace culture towards nature. Workshop participants were engaged in re-creative activities of turning recycled materials into puppets that can tell exciting stories as a method to improve emotional management skill and to explore inner self in the relationship with the community.
To turn ideas into reality, Ms An Thi Lan Anh, winner with proposal Lagreens inspired by the Art of Recycle Award, has organized a recycling art class for children to teach them how to make useful items from discarded plastic bottle and paper. All of this demonstrates the key role youth have to play by bring creativity and innovation to drive solutions to the problems of waste, not just in Viet Nam, but everywhere.
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