A yellow plastic duck swims from Zurich – or from somewhere on the mainland – into the sea. An amusing idea for a child’s book? Unfortunately not, as, along with this duck every year more than 6 million tons
(> 6'000'000'000 kilograms) of plastic garbage reach the world’s seas through rivers, shipping and along other routes.
Known about for a considerable time but invisible to most people, an environmental catastrophe of unsuspected dimensions is taking place. The pollution of large areas of the sea, seawater dirtied by the tiniest plastic particles, and millions of dead animals are the appalling consequences of our way of dealing with plastic which consists of using it and throwing it away – instead of properly disposing or recycling it.
Protection of the environment and in particular of the world’s seas is among the main focal areas of Drosos Foundation. Currently the Foundation is engaged in environmental projects in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. «Out to Sea? The Plastic Garbage Project» knows no national boundaries and addresses a global problem. The geographical dimensions and the complex relationships between cause and effect impose considerable demands on those creating the exhibition, and the task is made even more difficult by the wish to appeal to people of all ages. Drosos Foundation also supports creative work by children and young people and is therefore happy to help with the activities planned in conjunction with the exhibition.
On their «duck journey» through the exhibition, visitors will first of all encounter plastic garbage collected locally from the sea and will then examine scientific analyses and images as well as the theme «plastic». Different kinds of approaches aimed at encouraging creative and active participation will raise visitors’ awareness and change their consciousness.
We are particularly delighted that after the «premiere» in the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, the exhibition has been shown by 10 further European museums and is touring the Arab world. Thanks to our partners in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Lebanon, the exhibition could be reconstructed on place and adapted to the local context.
We wish to thank the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich and our local partners in Cairo, Casablanca, Amman and Beirut for their valuable work and for the courage to embark on a project that, for once, starts at the end of the design chain: at the final destination, the sea.
Stefan Kraft, President (until 30 June, 2014)
Member of the Foundation’s Board (since 1 July, 2014)