1. Name of Project: “YOUNG ZOOM” on Garbage, a Digital Photography and Garbage Awareness Workshop, 2009-2010
  2. Location of Project: Thimphu, Bhutan
  3. Project Starting from: June 2009
  4. Project Completion Date:August 2010
  5. Name of Implementing Agency: VAST Bhutan
  6. Number of Beneficiaries: 60 Children aged 10 to 25, Thimphu
  7. Person Responsible for Overall Management of the project: Kama Wangdi, Founder, Project Director through grand exhibition cum campaign on ABC approach to garbage problem.
  8. Focal Person for day-to-day management : Sangay Dorji and Dorji Wangchuk.
  9. Co-sponsored by the Bhutan Foundation, NEC ,Thimphu City Corporation

Background Information/ Statement of the Problem:
Waste in urban Bhutan is a significant and growing environmental and social problem. Household waste, plastic, PET bottles, clothes, card board/papers, debris from construction and many more are dumped in streets, streams, rivers, and forests. With more than 30% of Bhutanese live in urban areas the problem of waste is expected to grow substantially.

Solid waste disposal poses serious concerns especially in the urban centres, due to inadequate service for disposal and also the lack of involvement of agencies in both private and public sector. Most of the garbage is dumped in the numerous streams flowing through the towns. Reports on the status of environment in Thimphu and Phuentsholing indicate that the Municipal Authorities now collect 37 and 25 tones of solid wastes respectively which accrue to more than three times the amount that was produced in 1998 (Public Private Partnership for Urban Environment, RSPN). Although there has been small scale projects and campaigns organized by RSPN, UNDP and other autonomous agencies, the awareness of environmental impact in the long run due to this problem, is yet to reach the mass in the country. The main causes of this is the heavy reliance on the public sector/municipality as their mandate for solid waste disposal by the public, or just the attitude and behavior of people and also the fact that there has been not much co-operation between people and agencies in advocacy on this issue.

“YOUNG ZOOM on Garbage” is an initiative taken by VAST Bhutan to engage young people to tackle some of the issues mentioned above and ultimately contribute to the society through artistic endeavors. The workshop will be conducted in 3 to 4 stages in an informal way by professionals such as artists, photographers and environmentalist.The young participants will be provided with enough information, guidance, artistic approaches both in basic digital photographic techniques and ABC (Advocacy Behavioral Change) towards Garbage issue in Thimphu. They will see through their camera and embrace the alarming issue and challenges in dealing with the NGP (National Garbage Problem). The result of their understanding and findings will be expressed and captured through their cameras which will be shared in form of exhibitions/awareness campaign and pictorial book with facts, findings and views for the mass.

As part of its regular activities, VAST organizes special Art Workshops, Camps, Talks, Exhibitions, Weekend Classes and Design and implement projects to promote culture, health, environment and extracurricular activities through out the year. The overall aims of these endeavors are to provide opportunities to school children to participate and develop their life skills, confidence, talents through interaction and participation of learning art in experiential ways. As always, it is in-line with the goal of positive adolescent and youth development. These types of experiences are also an efficient medium of promoting social, emotional and mental development of individuals and communities.

Stage One
The first stage of this workshop will be to provide the participants the basic artistic approaches to digital photography through experiential, talks and demonstration and simple exercises. The participants will be guided by visiting professionals and local volunteers with diverse scales in visual arts and in the field of photography.

Stage two
In this stage many technical, artistic personals and waste management specialists will come together and brief the participants on alarming issues of garbage in Thimphu. There will be interactive talks and presentations and discussions to tackle the overall NGP. This stage is the core section of the workshop where the artistic, technology, creativity and the subject matter (Garbage) will meet and merry. By the end of this stage all participants and resource personals should have the ABC to their heart and be ready to journey into the field equipped with cameras and critical minds.

Stage three
For a period 2 to 3 weeks in this stage, all participants will be capturing, observing and analyzing the real situations through their cameras. Occasional 1 to 1 discussion will be arranged in the studio.

Stage four
This stage is the final stage where all the efforts and results of the project will be shared through the festival with a grand exhibition cum campaign on ABC approach to garbage problem. Many facts, visuals, information and findings will be displayed in world class standard through various medium of art.

VAST Bhutan wish to invite organizations and individuals as potential partners for the festival and show case their commitment and efforts made towards the garbage problem. Therefore the festival becomes a collective effort to fight this serious problem and together engage young people to create a wider awareness, featuring creative, interactive and mass participation.

Perhaps this festival can travel to other urban areas in Bhutan??

Sl. No Activity Date Person Responsible
1. Intro. to the workshop 2009 Kama Wangdi
2. Basic Photography 2009/2010 Yannick/Geylay
3. Digital Photo Medium 2009/2010 Pierre/Regena
4. Hands on exercises 2009/2010 Pierre/Rajesh/Asha
5. Intro. to subject (Garbage) 2009 Asha/RSPN/TCC
6. Visits and group reflection 2009/2010 All participants
7. River Walk July 2009 All participants
8. Finding partners for the festival 2010 Asha
9. Submit for approval Aug. 2010 VAST
10. Production/post production Aug.2010 VAST
11. Festival 26 to 29 Aug.2010 VAST


  1. “Walk the River” Photo Exhibition, digital photographs taken by members and partners
  2. “Walk the River” Photo and Garbage Installation Art
  3. Installation Art from garbage with video art (documentary on garbage)
  4. Giant Pinhole Camera reflecting garbage and people (Photographic display)
  5. Garbage Art “self creation”
  6. Installation Art on Climate Change
  7. Painting displays on “dragon and its web”
  8. Creation of Recycle Art “ the Garbage Scroll”
  9. Creation of Recycle Art “wrapper Dragon
  10. Display of individual artworks created from rubbish
  11. Display of Pictorial Graphic on the 3Rs (Reuse, Reduce and Recycle)
  12. Exhibition by the Green Ways
  13. Exhibition and sale of shopping bags
  14. Demonstration on segregation of garbage
  15. Demonstration on rope making from old cement bags
  16. Demonstration on paper making from old newspapers
  17. Demonstration on paper products from recycled papers
  18. Demonstration on compost making from garbage
  19. Demonstration on recycling of computer cartage
  20. Demonstration through bicycle how energy is consumed
  21. Demonstration on carbon footprint reduction by biking
  22. Children Art making from garbage
  23. Production of banner and mural “pledge and promises by the citizen”
  24. Talking corner “design for Change”
  25. Competitions
  26. Awarding for individuals who has contributed directly or indirectly towards waste deduction

Potential Partners

  1. Thimphu City Corporation
  2. National Environment Commission
  3. Bhutan Trust Fund
  4. RSPN
  5. Police Aums
  6. Jungshi Paper Factory
  7. Early learning Centre
  8. Tiny toes
  9. Happy Valley
  10. HeHe
  11. Yudruk Biking Club
  12. Thimphu Primary School
  13. Greener Ways Bhutan
  14. Bhutanese Youth on Climate Change

Exhibition Map

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