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. 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. 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.
This documentary effectively explores issues of environment and sustainability, social exclusion, ‘development,’ and the ability of art to bring about change in the lives of marginilised people and raise awareness of such issues.
The film was a strong reminder of why we use forms of self-expression to empower communities. It is so encouraging to see a world famous artist working so closely with an important group within society that often gets forgotten. Not only was the art resulting from this project phenomenal, the stories of the catadores are unforgettable. I would recommend taking the time to watch Wasteland, as there are so many things that we can learn from it, about wider global issues, individual stories, the power of art and what can be achieved through it. One can’t help but be inspired.
Written by volunteer, Stacey
Sua s’dei from Kampot, Cambodia!
First, I just want to tell you how lovely the women at Dorsu are. We’re two days in to the Wool for Women project, and they have all made us feel at home. Plus they have taken to crocheting with enthusiasm.
Second, let me tell you about Dorsu and the women behind it. What is now a beautiful store one block back from the river in the relaxed town of Kampot was conceptualised in 2008 by a local seamstress Kunthear and traveling Australian volunteer Hanna. Volunteering at the Chumkriel Language School (CLS) and living in the Kampot community Hanna got to know Kunthear and her sewing skills. The business they created was based around selling clothes and gifts to tourists to raise money for Chumkriel Learning Centre (CLC), a safe and creative learning space for children. Hanna and Kunthear set up their sewing machine in the corner or the loud room and got to work. By 2009 they rented a small loft in town to allow customers to see their garments being made and then moved into a shop in 2010 where they were able to operate weeklong and grow their team.
Today, Dorsu employs six women and produces a range of dresses, bags, shirts, pants, skirts, shorts, and more. They offer passersby the opportunity to purchase local and handmade goods that have a positive impact on the community.
I encourage anyone traveling in the area to pop in, alternatively Aware has a range of their goods to sell in Melbourne which you can purchase at markets or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information on how you can help support this fantastic community!
For more info on Dorsu see http://www.dorsu.org
Written by volunteer, Stacey
In a recent article in The Conversation about sustainable development raised some interesting points on government’s lack of initiative when it comes to implementing policy.
Basically the article’s conclusion is that without a united vision for a country or a world for generations to come sustainable development falls flat within policy creation.
The author, Mike Burbridge writes:
Let’s be clear: we are all the same. We care about improving our quality of life as we see it. But we all have different views about the time frames that encircle our decision making. Sustainable development doesn’t: it is blind when it comes to time. There is simply no question: sustainable development requires that we think about generations to come. It requires that decisions we take or policies we announce today take into account the effects on tomorrow’s generation
What does this have to do with Aware you ask?
Well, we’re offering up our vision for a sustainable future and sustainable development. We’re suggesting that encouraging self-empowerment through art, crafts, and education will create new visions for what sustainable communities could look like.