Posts Tagged ‘trash pickers’

Catadores at the World Cup

Friday, June 27, 2014

Since Iran has been thoroughly eliminated from the competition, and the U.S. has safely passed to the next round, I have through the weekend to watch some good soccer without worrying about the fate of my nations. And that means more time to wonder what happens to all the World Cup trash. This piece on Brazilian catadores sorting tourist trash for recyclable materials warmed by heart.

Even more fascinating, however, is the Pimp My Carroça project, which I discovered via this fabulous CityLab article about street artists making trash cans look like backpacks worn by squat men. From what I can gather, the name translates roughly as “pimp my trash cart” and involves raising the visibility of Brazil’s trash pickers and the challenges they face using creative art projects.

Image

(photo via Metalgassi)

Both the first article and the art collective note that Brazil boasts one of the world’s highest rates of can recycling, thanks in large part to the catadores.

To tell the story of this community, French filmmaker Rémi Pinaud (in collaboration with Pimp My Carroça) hopes to complete his project O Cafofo, or The Castle, a fictional film about a trash picker and his two daughters whose home in a high rise housing project in São Paulo comes under threat when the city starts “cleaning up” to host the World Cup.

You can support the project here.

Trashonomics and the power of good journalism

Saturday, March 15, 2014

This morning a friend shared this beautifully-written tribute to Matthew Power, a journalist who died recently while reporting in Uganda. I didn’t know Power’s work before reading this piece, but the author Abe Streep’s description of his friend compelled me to seek it out. As someone who works in global health and travels frequently to places haunted by thrill-seeking writers and photographers, I found this line particularly intriguing:

Matt traveled to hard places, but he didn’t court danger.

Clicking through to a link shared in the tribute, I found “The Magic Mountain,” a sprawling Harper’s article written with old fashioned take-me-there charm. In it, Power simply and elegantly tells the story of a giant trash heap that piled up in Quezon City, Philippines, and the community of people who now live and eek out a life in its shadow.

All Women Waste Workers

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Feeling philanthropic? Rolando Politi, founder of the Yanbuki trash worshipers, has launched a fundraising campaign to support a project with women rag pickers in Delhi, India. The idea: teach the members of the women’s waste workers cooperative to make and sell trash art.

Trash flowers

The campaign states two aims, to generate income for the women and to destigmatize their work by creating something positive from the materials they collect.

For more on waste, recycling and the informal industry of rag picking in Delhi, check out the documentary Delhi Waste Wars.

Trash pickers want carbon credits

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Interesting piece in the Calgary Herald.

While the UN process under the Kyoto Protocol rewards companies for burning waste and extracting gas from landfill, the waste pickers and recycling have been ignored.

 

More on Brazilian film Waste Land

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Good news. If you didn’t have a chance to catch Lixo extraordinário (Waste Land) or weren’t in New York the one day it was playing last week at MoMA, you may soon have another opportunity. The documentary is scheduled for wide release in October. This description from the Huffington Post makes me even more eager to catch it when it comes to town for real.

via Huffington Post

The most poignant film in [MoMA’s Premiere Brazil film] festival is Waste Land, which documents the Brazilian artist Vick Muniz as he works collaboratively with catadores (garbage pickers) in Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill, located in Rio de Janeiro. Muniz works with the catadores to produce large scale portraits of the workers. The portraits are composed of the recyclable materials they collect over a three year period. The images are later auctioned and the proceeds go to the workers and the organization that advocates on their behalf.

The journey of their process goes far beyond the traditional scenarios of victims and saviors,Waste Land chronicles the emotional evolution of all the people involved but also challenges the viewer’s perception of their own community, class, and consumption.

Trash pickers in the news

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The New York Times ran a don’t forget about the trash pickers op-ed yesterday written by Bharati Chaturvedi, founder and director of the Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group in New Delhi.

AMONG those suffering from the global recession are millions of workers who are not even included in the official statistics: urban recyclers — the trash pickers, sorters, traders and reprocessors who extricate paper, cardboard and plastics from garbage heaps and prepare them for reuse. Their work is both unrecorded and largely unrecognized, even though in some parts of the world they handle as much as 20 percent of all waste…

Click here for the full article.

A world of shocking odors

Monday, May 25, 2009
Shawn Baldwin for The New York Times

Shawn Baldwin for The New York Times

Great Zabaleen article in the Times accompanied  by a short video and these stellar images by photographer Shawn Baldwin.

It is a world of shocking odors and off-putting sights. But it is their world, the world of the zabaleen, hundreds of thousands of people who have made lives and a community by collecting Cairo’s trash and transforming it into a commodity.

RIP Sister Emanuelle

Sunday, October 26, 2008

From Voice of America:  “Born in Brussels, Sister Emmanuelle lived and worked with a scavenger community in Cairo for more than 20 years. She founded an association that built a school and provided trucks for the Zabbaleen community there, which has become internationally known for its recycling practices.”

Via FP Passport.  Photo ripped from the Washington Post

The Garbage Cage

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

garbagecage.jpg I came across this review of a new documentary on Palestinian trash pickers today. Yet another example of how trash explains the world (in this case class, conflict and social status). I’m not sure if this is screening or airing anywhere soon, all I found was the purchase info (and limited info at that). Let me know if you hear anything!


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