Plastic Bottles Are Not Trash: South Africans turn waste into a business opportunity

This is a short video about recycling in South Africa, focusing on waste management as a business, education and of course the environmental and social benefits recycling old materials. The film shows that recycling and reuse can be profitable for the whole community.

As seen on Infrastructure News

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Waste Land: Re-Imagining Rubbish

FINAL MAGNA PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT ENTITLED “THE GIPSY MAGNA – PICTURES OF GARBAGE”
Photograph by Vik Muniz, courtesy of Vik Muniz Studio

“I have always been interested in garbage: What it says about us. What in there embarrasses us, and what we can’t bear to part with. Where it goes and how much of it there is. How it endures. What it might be like to work with it every day. I read about one woman’s crusade to show her appreciation for all the sanitation workers in New York by hugging each of them, and I applauded the sentiment … and yet … there had to be some other way for me to show my appreciation.” 

Lucy Walker, January 2010

LUCY WALKER BEHIND CAMERA
Photography by Jim Denault

Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.

SEPIA JARDIM GRAMACHO LANDSCAPE WITH VULTURES
Photograph of by Vik Muniz, courtesy of Vik Muniz Studio

There he photographs an eclectic band of “catadores” — self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint” the catadores with garbage.

B/W PHOTO OF MAGNA
Photograph by Vik Muniz, courtesy of Vik Muniz Studio

ORIGINAL SHOT OF ISIS AND VALERIA
Photograph by Vik Muniz, courtesy of Vik Muniz Studio

PORTRAIT OF VALTER
Photograph by Vik Muniz, courtesy of Vik Muniz Studio

However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives.

VIK TAKES PHOTO OF TIAO AS MARAT
(SCREEN GRAB) Courtesy of Vik Muniz Studio

FINAL TIAO PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT ENTITLED “MARAT/ SEBASTIAO – PICTURES OF GARBAGE” Photograph by Vik Muniz, courtesy of Vik Muniz Studio

Director Lucy Walker (DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, BLINDSIGHT and COUNTDOWN TO ZERO) and co-directors João Jardim and Karen Harley have great access to the entire process and, in the end, offer stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.

VIK MUNIZ LOOKS DOWN AT MAGNA’S PHOTO AND PORTRAIT
(SCREEN GRAB) Artwork courtesy of Vik Muniz Studio