The last two days, I've been home sick. I don't mind having days off of work, but I would like to be well so I can truly enjoy the time off! Instead of sitting around twiddling my thumbs, I decided to check in on my Netflix Queue. I haven't had much time to take advantage of this handy service that I pay monthly for lately...but a sick day or two provided the right opportunity! I got in a string of 4 documentaries. Following Sean; Exit Through the Gift shop; The Modernism of Julius Shulman; and Waste Land. Waste Land left the biggest impression on me. The subject of the film is the Pickers of Jardim Gramacho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the largest landfill in the world and provides a livelihood for some 3,000 pickers who sort out the recyclable materials that would otherwise be buried. A Brazilian expatriate artist now living and working in NYC returns to his home country and to Jardim Gramacho to create a body of work with the pickers assistance and with the recyclable materials that they collect every day. His purpose is to bring light to the important role these people play and to help them better themselves. Here is the trailer:
Here is a short film put together by the pickers themselves to document the work that they do:
In a completely opposite part of the world, there is another place similar to this. A photograph in a recent Dwell magazine caught my attention. It is called Garbage City and it is on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. Here is a good report:
It always strikes me how the rich and wealthy don't really concern themselves so much with their garbage, but the poor and downtrodden keep our society running through the sorting of this garbage and recycling out of necessity.