What is Balkantango?
Balkantango is a bicycle inner tube recycler brand manufacturing accessories from punctured rubber since 2005. The creative mind behind the concept and the designer of all bags, wallets, exhibitions and happenings is Füsun Ipek. She was born in Istanbul, grown up in Budapest and is living currently in Basel. Along with her design she works as an independent artist and curator. Same with performance or bags, installation or jewellery, she critically questions different social phenomena.
Speed of Balkantango
Balkantango bags and accessories are made for slow consumers. She does think that one bag and one wallet are good for long years and almost any occasion. Urban needs and nature trips, to carry laptops or mushrooms, feathers or coins. She also thinks that everything we use should be appreciated as long term value that serves us if we take care of it. So when it comes to Balkantango She designs simple, multi purpose and high quality bags and wallets and She does not make yearly collections. If you want to buy a new but same wallet after five years, you will find very likely the same model at Balkantango.
Statement behind Balkantango
"As I think about life as a whole circle I believe that our attitude towards objects influences our attitude towards each other. Our daily routine is not only a functional todo, but it also designs our thoughts about community and our role in it. If we travel by bike for example, we are more vulnerable as if we were by car. We have less indicators built in our technical equipment, so instead of automatic observing of traffic laws we are often forced to direct communication. This little difference of travelling behaviour can let us think further that we also depend directly on each other and not just on the systems we built.
That is how I think about Balkantango’s role in society as well. Balkantango is one of the pioneers of bicycle recycling brands in Europe. During the last more than ten years I witnessed how bicycle changed from locally fashionable, small town based or messenger-like vehicle into the every-day survival solution of big cities. I followed the changes of an essentially bottom-up movement into top-down political campaign slogans. Balkantango used to be one of the first start-ups in Hungary as well, so I saw in life how creative industries of the new century are being built up onto the simulacrum of participation and sharing, DIY and self made. The more knowledge I collected the less I aimed to be a flagship brand of these new times. Instead of extending Balkantangos production and branding I broadened its activity. Next to the limited production of my beloved bags and wallets, I curate exhibitions about bicycle culture and give seminars and workshops about postindustrial design and sustainability." - says Ipek.