Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Trash Transformed

In exploring the world's largest landfill outside of Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian artist, Vik Muniz, was inspired by the catadores who sort through tons of refuse each day for recyclable materials to sell.

He took portraits of the men and women he befriended in iconic poses and projected these images onto the floor of a gigantic studio space in the city. The catadores themselves then recreated their own portraits by reclaiming garbage for the purpose.

Proceeds from the resulting art generated $250,000 USD for the Association of Recycling Pickers of Jardim Gramacho-- a community organization and union of sorts for catadores in Rio.

This story was captured on film by Lucy Walker and turned into a movie called "Wasteland", which has made its way onto Netflix.

There is beauty to be found in transformation and reclamation.

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