There are a few topics that Americans don’t like to talk about, they are for the most part topics I do like to talk and learn about; such as the failure of our prison system and our odd relationship with trash.
We have such a weird relationship to consumption and to trash. A friend who was visiting from Sweden this summer was talking about her country’s campaign to get people aware of wasting food. She was raised in America and is astonished with our relationship to food after living overseas so long. I have often thought if we could raise people’s awareness of not wasting food here we could resolve the problem of food insecurity that is a growing issue in America with the struggling economy.
A documentary that will change your relationship with trash is called Waste Land From their website: ” 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. 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.”
It is an excellent film.
As if this isn’t enough take a moment to listen to the Diane Rehm’s WAMU radio program talking frankly about hoarding . This will bring new insights to this phenomena and bend your thinking about what you do and don’t keep. Pass it on if you haven’t used it in the past year… This is a bit like “Scared Straight” for people who have a tendency of being a pack rat!