Alliance française du Bengale, MasterPeace & Culture Monks, invites you to a session of co – creation to celebrate the International Day of Peace 2021.

Reconfigurations is a live upcycling workshop where we individually create objects of art by transforming defunct or unused materials.

In this experience of co- creation where we create art works within a stipulated time and live on camera, we get to see and get ideas from each other and the process demonstrates that practically we can practice this form of art given the time constraints of daily lives.

So each participant is requested to be ready with their objects & tools of transformations during the workshop. We will have approx. 60 minutes to accomplish the artwork and present the same.

The artistic outcome would be displayed as a virtual exhibition and published in the form of an e- chapbook.

We would also be curating a physical exhibition with the objects at a later date in Kolkata.

Interested participants can join a physical workshop mentored by a visual artist at a later date to carry forward this practice.

Date | Time

On Sep 21, 2021 from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm IST

JOIN: Reconfigurations | PEACE DAY 2021

Please click the link below to join the webinar on ZOOM
Webinar ID: 926 3010 4041
Passcode: PEACE

About the workshop

On Upcycling

Upcycling is the practice of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value.’ – William McDonough & Michael Braungart

‘Upcycling’, meaning ‘recycling better’, is a term coined by William McDonough and Michael Braungart in Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2003) – a book that has played an influential role in the sustainability movement.

Upcycling is essentially recycling…

During the process of recycling, unwanted, broken or waste materials and products are transformed into something new in order to reduce overconsumption of resources and energy. The newly created items are either downcycled or upcycled. In the first case, ‘the items produced from waste materials are of a lower value and quality than the original item or material’, while, in the second case,upcycled pieces retain and sometimes even enhance the look and feel of the original discarded materials’, Upcycled World explains (

Yet, while recycling is often seen as a good way to protect the planet, it is far from being the panacea! On an industrial scale, recycling is mostly synonym of under-recycling and waste: firstly, the new objects are of lower quality than the initial products; secondly, the recycling process is not infinite because the raw materials eventually deteriorate until they can no longer be transformed; thirdly, the recycling process itself is very polluting and energy-consuming (e.g. transforming plastic bottles into pullovers requires tons and tons of water), which counters the eco-friendly aspect of recycling. In reality, recycling cannot be the solution to mass consumption.

…but it is much more than just recycling!

On an individual scale, upcycling really makes sense and it is within everyone’s reach. If you are an avid reader of the French philosopher Pierre Rabhi, you are surely familiar with his approach of ‘happy sobriety’ (‘sobriété heureuse’). Pierre Rabhi asserts that consuming less, refusing single-use products, reusing, upcycling and preferring quality to quantity make us happier and free from the capitalist injunction to purchase. The concept of upcycling is totally consistent with this idea. ‘Upcycling forces people to question the hidden versatility of the products’, Erin McKenzie (The Littlest Bookshop) said.

In addition to the advantage of reducing our carbon footprint, upcycling develops our creativity. Creating earrings from paper and cardboard, an oriental-style box from an aluminum can, or beautiful flowers from plastic bags…are some examples of fun and upcycled items. Some talented artists have even made upcycling their profession, such as Meenakshi Sharma from Dehli. Among her creations: beautiful and colorful buntings, banners, dream catchers made of pieces of fabrics…(Have a look at her studio space:

You are interested in upcycling and want to express your creativity by transforming old and unused products into nice new items?

Join our workshop organised at the occasion of the International Peace Day, on 21 September 2021! This year is particularly significant since we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the UN Resolution on the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace. Moreover, 2021 International Peace Day’s theme is ‘Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World’. All students, teachers, artists and anybody else are welcomed to participate and create a piece of art that combines both sustainability and peace – a symbolic association that should be at the core of your work. A special exhibition will showcase the ten best creations.

Happy upcycling!


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