Bag on Bag project

Tough battle against the eternal Lady of Plastic

December 2011

The voluntary Bag on Bag project, which was held for the second year in a row, warns of the excessive use of plastic bags by combining art and environmental protection, and at the same time offers creative and simple solutions for the prevention of this type of waste.

Between 19 and 26 November 2011, old plastic bags were collected and exchanged for textile equivalents at special stalls (Stojnice idej – Idea Stalls) in various locations throughout Ljubljana. Around 150 kilograms of plastic bags were collected over six days. Throughout the week, artworks and various useful items were made from the bags and plastic bottles collected. The project organisers will use the rest of the collected bags for future projects, workshops and creations.

At the final event, the organisers displayed the art and products made out of waste packaging and presented awards to the winners of the photo competition Vrečka na veji (A Bag on a Branch), which was held in October and November, the aim of which was to warn of the problem of plastic in the aquatic environment. Artists, musicians, improvisers and dancers participated at the event and made it a real mini-street dance-music-art show.

On 26 November 2011 Pogačarjev trg in Ljubljana was dedicated to the eternal Lady of Plastic. The event was staged next to a huge dead tree, decorated with plastic bags (by The Miha Artnak, in cooperation with Andraž Tarman (Rompom) and Erik Vidmar (Tisa d.o.o.)) and towering over Travnik (Meadow) scattered with colourful and completely non-biodegradable flowers made from plastic bottles (by Luka Mancini and Katarina Mrvar from Lukatarina design studio).

The artist, The Miha Artnak, named his art piece Pomlad je sen zime/The Rise of the Fall (Spring is the Dream of Winter/The Rise of the Fall). He commented on it: 'Along with the last year's snow came a new type of monster. It has adapted to the ecosystem, but since we have significantly limited the use of plastic bags, it died of hunger this August. The nature of waste is persistent and cannot be managed smoothly. It adapts to us with ease, particularly when we are not consistent in our handling of waste. It adapts to us in all seasons and every day tries to spread over an even greater space under the sun with its non-degradable fruit.'

During EWWR week (the European Week for Waste Reduction), the fashion designer Barbara Živčić (Ecologists without borders) in cooperation with Kralji ulice (Kings of the Street) led two workshops on how to make sleeping bags, at which 15 homeless people learned how to make a sleeping bag out of plastic bags. On Sunday Barbara Živčić brought the sleeping bags with her for display.


Barging in on the event uninvited came a plastic being going by the name of Bagfoot. It performed a dance entitled Who's Bag to show that shopping is a holiday. Bagfoot reinforced its dance act with his clones – the dancers from the Šola za nastopanje Bast – and volunteers.
An important part of the introductory part of the project in autumn was the Vrečka na veji (A Bag on a Branch) photo competition, which started on 3 October and concluded on 15 November 2011. A total of 448 photographs were entered in the photo competition. Of the ten that garnered the most votes on the web, the three-member jury were swayed most by the following: Andrej Marenčič with I Wanna Spin (But I Cant),  Anja Burnik with Smetovec (Garbage Tree ), and Nataša Pezdir with 'Okraski' Koritnice (Koritnica 'Decorations') . Sašo Papp, the radio presenter and photo competition ambassador, presented them with their awards at the final event.

The event was accompanied by the lively rhythms of DJs Žakpižon and Felis Catus, the Improleptika theatre group provided laughter and unexpected situations, and the rapper Kosta gave the event some soul with his deep and strong lyrics. Three loud urban boys, Simpl, Perro and Rudstah (Datura, Nedelaz), showed what they have created during their years of practice in bomb shelters. They threw chopped syllables at the rhythm with great precision. The final street event was masterfully presented by the sports commentator and journalist, Luka Štucin.

Project partners:

The Ecologist Without Borders society , the Eco Vitae ecological society , the artist, The Miha Artnak, Lukatarina design studio , and project co-organisers, Nataša Zuljan, Marko Orel and the SRCe Student House .

The Vrečka na veji (A bag on a Branch) photo competition's partner was .

Text by Polonca Štritof, Sinfo, December 2011 
Photo: Žiga Šmidovnik and authors of the winning photographs