CATEGORY - WASTE
META TAGS - POVERTY / FEAR OF DIRT / RECYCLING
Duration 09:47 mins
“Once you start to see the world through food, everything changes. Seemingly unconnected things turn out to be closely linked: apparently confusing relationships spring into relief.”
Draft video edit - Part of a selection of videos selected for Visual Ethnographic research for my MRes. The theme is based around the relationship between food and cities. Please feel free to add comments and observations of what you see in the videos.
The final video was shot at Bantar Gebang, 20 miles east of Jakarta, Indonesia in April 2010. The time was around 2pm. The temperature was very warm, warm because generally the temperatures in Jakarta are 31 degrees centigrade, but also because of the amount of heat generated by the decomposition of the rubbish. In fact it was so hot that the cameras often overheated.
Kate Hodal1 reports that Bantar Gebang It is often called ‘the mountain’ by the workers, this is Indonesia’s largest landfill dump. There are around two thousand families living and working at Bantar Gebang. They are mostly unskilled workers from Java, some of whom have been scavenging in streets and rubbish bins their whole lives. But life here, says new resident Dadi, 25, can be a difficult adjustment. "I couldn't eat properly for weeks when I arrived, the smell was so bad," he says of the tip's stench of curdled milk. "I vomited every day."
Despite a strong sense of community on the tip, many also find that they are stigmatised when they cross its borders. Sar Jok a resident worker mentioned “People would say, 'Why do you live on the dump? It smells bad, you smell bad'. But when they saw I made good money, their opinions changed."
People work here independently collecting various recycling items ranging from aluminium tins, glass bottles and plastics of every variety. There is an unofficial reliance on scavengers to remedy the problem of recycling. Renie Elvina Tiurma, Head of the Jakarta household corporation-targeted recycling initiative called The Green Project states “Scavenging is not optimal because 40% of ‘recycling’ is still not recyclable, is too dirty to be processed. People in Jakarta need to sort their own trash, 48% of household waste is recyclable and another 40% is compostable.