Privileged Tactics II


Zaballeen Model
Personal Model


PT2 is a project about environmental sustainability. It takes as its starting point the Zaballeen community of rubbish recyclers in Cairo, and uses RFID technology to present models for increasing personal responsibility for the environment.

The idea for PT2 (in a different form) won second place in the UNESCO Digital Arts Award, 2007. It is work-in-progress.

Download the information booklet

Interview with Franc


The Zaballeen are a community of people living in Cairo who collect and recycle the city's waste. They are a major contributor in processing solid-waste in this rapidly expanding city of 17-20 million people.

This project uses Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, technology which is currently being used in security and object management systems in many industries and products.

The project has two aims:

1) To promote the Zaballeen model for environmental
sustainability. More on Zaballeen model.

2) To present a model for the developed world based on increasing personal responsibility for the environment. More on individual model.


In a public place in Cairo, bottles of water are given away. The bottles are discreetly tagged with RFID. RFID readers are placed at the entrances to the Zaballeen’s recycling plants. Information collected
about the tracked bottles acts as a starting point for raising awareness about the Zaballeen and future development for the project.

The actions are adapted for cities in "developed" countries. Today consumers make decisions based on a wide range of complex factors including quality, design and price. The proposed model encourages consumers to choose products based on a further consideration: its environmental impact.

In the West it is often thought that recycling products is more expensive than producing something new. The project asks: what does “expensive” mean, when you look longer term and at the costs of ameliorating the effects of pollution on our environment? How much will it cost to “clean up” after pollution, and who will pay?

Exhibitions and Press

PT2 has been shown at the Schute Gallery in Hamburg, September 2008, and at the P74 Center and Gallery in Ljubljana, in December 2008.

Write up in Cultureserve on-line magazine