Edible Plants Grown in Trash-Worthy Plastic Cans in Ethiopia

As a part of SurVivArt, a German environmental foundation, Ethiopian artist Kebreab Demeke’s gorgeous and living sculpture is among around a dozen projects examining the meaning of ‘the good life’ on display at an exhibition in Berlin.

In Ethiopia, plastic jerrycans that are used for carrying water from rivers and ponds are called jerekinas. These are a part of the landscape and part of every household on the countryside.

While both boys and girls carry water, boys use the jerrycans while some girls still use traditional clay pots.

Kebreab´s project focuses on reflecting a critical dialogue of containers. He built a sculptural object with a mixture of jerrycans and clay plots to raise questions about the use or need for these two different types of containers.

The containers are now being used for growing edible plants, thus turning themselves into a living sculpture. The project involves the local school, the pupils and their parents. The jerrycans are being collected from local families in exchange for clay pots.

The school environmental club is responsible for keeping the sculpture alive and has a right to the food grown on it.

In addition, a workshop is planned to develop new designs for clay containers used for water transport based on a ‘needs assessment’ of the children and people carrying the water.

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