On the 22nd June 2011 at 7.30 pm Emirates Environmental Group hosted its 6th Community Lecture for the year in association with Documentary Voices. As always, the evening event was free and open to all members of the public. The affair proved to be a highly popular and well-attended event because the Emirates Environmental Group screened the multi award-winning documentary “Wasteland”.
Showcasing this unique and exceptional film on the well-established platform of Emirates Environmental Group’s Community Lecture Series not only attracted a huge number of participants but also exposed the film to many likeminded people who care about the environment and are troubled by the current waste situation in the world today. It also conveyed important messages about waste and recycling, which is a topic close to EEG’s heart.
The event was held in Mall of the Emirates and was supported by Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre (DUCTAC). The documentary titled “Wasteland” has had over 50 International film festival screenings and follows the journey of a renowned artist, ‘Vik Muniz’ as he journeys from his home in Brooklyn, New York to the World’s largest garbage dump in Brazil, his native country.
Ms. Sara Baker, EEG’s Executive Committee Member opened the event with a welcoming note. Sara Baker expressed the timeliness of EEG showcasing a film about waste, which aptly fell within the same month of one of EEG’s most prestigious waste-related events, the Annual Prize Giving Ceremony. She spoke briefly about how successful the Prize Giving Ceremony was, which recognizes and awards the highest collectors of recyclables. Ms. Baker also spoke briefly about how challenging sustainable waste management has become and how it needs a collaborative effort to overcome waste management issues.
Attendees who had travelled from near and far to view the film were not disappointed. The documentary, which was filmed over 3 years, followed artist Vik Muniz as he travelled to Jardin Gramacho, the world’s largest waste dump located just outside Rio de Janeiro. During the film Vik photographs an electric band of “catadores” – self designated pickers of recyclable materials.
The film follows the journey of Vik and the transforming lives of the ‘catadores’ as he creates artistic masterpieces from photographic images of themselves, all of which were made of garbage and waste – materials that the catadores handle every day. The film reveals both the dignity and despair of the Catadores as they re-imagine their lives and find a future full of hope for the very first time.
The multi-award winning film mesmerized the audience for the entirety of its length, even in wordless sequences where the tireless work of the recyclable pickers was filmed; the movie was a joy to watch as the stories of poverty and desperation that it portrayed were dwarfed by the exhibition of human spirit, determination and will power.
Overall EEG’s 6th Community Lecture was a success. The film captivated the audience and inspired intriguing discussion and debate on how to solve the worlds waste problems. It was mentioned how everybody can contribute to creating sustainable waste management through the act of recycling, and how these materials should be separated from ‘real waste’ within homes and offices before they even reach land filling sites.
Attendees left feeling glad that they had viewed the film but were moved by the images and stories that were conveyed. Many EEG members vowed to improve their recycling efforts and would encourage their friends, families and work colleagues to do the same.
As the evening drew to a close, Ms. Sara Baker thanked Documentary Voices and DUCTAC for their help in making this 6th Community lecture so successful.