Cultural tip on SDG 9: A temple for the environment as a think tank

  • 2022-12-13
  • Janna Degener-Storr
Construction site of Monumen Antroposen in November 2022
Construction site of Monumen Antroposen in November 2022 © Yoga Permana/Monumen Antroposen

A modern temple that advances environmental innovation is being built in Indonesia.

Silicon particles in every fish, plastic bottles in many bodies of water. Oceans are becoming increasingly acidic, and the carbon dioxide content is causing our air to overheat. Earth can no longer compensate for human activity by itself. SDG 9 is therefore aimed at "".

Two artists saw this as an opportunity: Franziska Fennert and Iwan Wijono initiated the temple for the environment in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut, the Indonesian Upcycle Forum (IUF), the architect Dhoni Yudhanto and Indonesia’s local government.

They chose an area in Yogyakarta as the ideal spot for their creative plastic recycling project. The village is located close to a gigantic Indonesian landfill site in the neighbouring city of Piyungan. Indonesia is considered the world’s second biggest plastic producer. The artists explain that this location was ‘exemplary in showing the plastic waste on the surface’, adding that it was an open ‘wound of the city’.

The current plan is for the project to become a modern temple building for the recycling economy, as well as a spiritual meeting place for locals, artists, environmental activists and tourists.

Indonesian and international staff will be sorting, shredding and melting the garbage to form new items from old plastic materials. The discarded plastic is turned into new artworks and goods that can be sold worldwide over the internet. However, the monument is also designed as a think tank. The artists point out that it is, after all, the goal to .

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