European Graduate School EGS

Arts, Health and Society Division

Expressive Arts Blog

Waste Land – The transformative power of art

by admin on August 4, 2011

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.

Waste Land – the movie


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Margherita Amodeo August 4, 2011 at 10:39 am

After T.S. Elliot, another important “waste land” poem!!! Thanks for sharing.


admin August 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Thanks Muffy!
“Öd’ und leer das Meer.” [‘Waste and empty is the sea’.]
Eliot’s Waste Land at Poet’s Corner:


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