Radmila and Nikola Trebovac

© Branislav Nenin

TORBALON is an authentic souvenir from the town of Zrenjanin (Vojvodina, Serbia). The town itself is infamous for its widely known polluted drinking water, which has been prohibited to use due to high levels of arsenic since 2004. Its citizens are forced to provide their households with purchased water, mostly bottled in 5 liter plastic containers.RECYCLINGSince these plastic water containers are an indispensable everyday accessory of the Zrenjanins citizens, the idea was to place this item in the context of socially engaged fashion. And here comes TORBALON! A bag made of a plastic water container.SOCIAL AND PHILANTHROPIC ENGAGEMENTThe possibility to repurpose and reuse the plastic water containers defines this item as an item of the circular economy. The product, which symbolizes discontent with the unresolved problem of polluted drinking water, is meant to be carried in public spaces as a constant reminder for those responsible for finding a solution to it.Zrenjanin is a town whose diverse and rich industrial heritage from the Socialist era was fully devastated during the economic transition processes. Its outskirts are now filled with shopping malls and the future tire plant of a foreign investor which does not (even) fulfill the basic EU ecological standards. Instead of building a water purification factory, the town authorities gave its citizens a new town square. But
on that square, under the balconies of the town hall, no one is using his*/her* civil right to say out loud what we really need.TORBALON has been exchanged for drinking water, which was distributed to socially vulnerable citizens of Zrenjanin. It made its way to WIENWOCHE as the (official) festival merchandise of 2022. It will be presented to the audience in a street style manner and over the social media channels.


Concept by: Radmila and Nikola Trebovac

Project at Vienna Design Week

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