Changing People's Lives

am constantly inspired by just how many people are being extraordinary and doing extraordinary things with other people that make a difference.  I was sent a wonderful DVD by a friend and colleague for Christmas:  WASTE LAND.  This is the story of VIK MUNIZ working with the Catadores in Brazil, Muniz’s home country. A country he moved from following a shooting incident from which he received compensation enabling him to go to Brooklyn.Muniz wants to make a bigger difference, and wants to be part of changing people’s lives. His ambition is to change the lives of people with the materials that they deal with every day. In Jardim Gramacho the material is people’s waste. It is one of the biggest land fill sites in the world, if not the biggest. At the time of the film making there was no recycling facility in Rio de Janeiro and the people, the catadores, do the job of recycling – of picking through truck loads of rubbish and sorting it into buckets. Muniz meets catadores who are proud, some sad, and some whose lives are changed by participating in creating with Muniz and his team pieces of art that are photographed and one of which is sold at auction to raise funds for the catadores workers co-operative founded by one of the catadores.

Anni Townend