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Your Trash Is My Sustenance: Recycling the Image of ‘Waste Pickers’

  • Carla Melo
Chapter
Part of the Contemporary Performance InterActions book series (CPI)

Abstract

Waste pickers have, historically and across the globe, been one of the most marginalized urban subjects. Fortunately, in the last decades, we’ve witnessed their growing mobilization. This chapter explores the ways in which a collaborative project of urban intervention forged between graffiti artists and waste pickers, has, thanks to crowdfunding, expanded across Brazil and its borders, taking on the status of a ‘movement.’ I examine the ways in which the viral effect of this project has effectively helped to destigmatize the image of the catador in the city of São Paulo while re-signifying graffiti art. More specifically, at the core of my inquiry lies the question: What are the various cultural, political, and material factors that have allowed ‘Pimp My Carroça’ (Pimp My Cart) its longevity, expansion, and popularity? And what is the role of the catador in sustaining the ‘movement’?

Keywords

Waste pickers Graffiti Artivism Urban interventions Sustainability Precarity 

References

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carla Melo
    • 1
  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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