Monday, 25 February 2013

Wasteland (Comparative Civilizations 12)

"Wasteland", a film by Lucy Walker about the artistic endeavours of Vik Muniz, tells the story of "recyclable object pickers', or 'catadores' who make their lives and living in the landfill of Rio de Janeiro.  He changes the lives of these people by photographing them and then, as a group, creating artistic renditions of those photographs using recyclable material from the landfill.  Those renditions are then turned back into photographs, and then auctioned in London, where one fetches a sum of $50 000.  The money is then given back to the project's catadores who use it for various purposes, such as the creation of an adult school.

As a class, we take two periods to watch the documentary and then discuss the term 'hero' and what it means, who embodies the principles of heroism, and who are our current or past heroes/heroines.

From there, students are to select (as a group) one person (dead or alive) who is a hero/heroine to them.  Then, they are to gather recyclable objects for Friday's class in order to create a portrait of their chosen hero/heroine.  They are given the one class to place the objects on a student sized whiteboard in order for the photograph to be taken.  We aren't auctioning them, but if anyone wants to buy a photo, we'll consider all offers over $1000. ;)

Post courtesy of Lesley Lacroix

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