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Malu Dong festival highlights garbage problem in Bali

Symbol: Thousands of cigarette butts collected from the island's streets and beaches are a symbolic reminder of the residents' low awareness on the danger of littering. (Malu Dong Community/File)
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Yoka Sara, one of Bali’s most renowned architects, picked up a new hobby: collecting cigarette butts.

His chic office in downtown Denpasar is being gradually annexed by boxes filled with thousands of cigarette butts.

One day, he has revealed, he will use those cigarette butts to construct a gigantic art installation in one of the city’s squares.

The new hobby and plan for the installation is not driven by Yoka’s artistic inspiration, which, in the last few years, has been the primary engine behind SPRITES, a series of public performances featuring collaborative pieces created by the island’s young artists.

This time, however, the driving force is resentment over the lack of public awareness regarding one of the island’s most pressing problems: uncollected trash.

“Many people carelessly throw their cigarette butts on the ground, which is a huge revelation of the attitude a large number of people have toward trash. They simply don’t care,” he said over a glass of fine single malt Scotch.

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