Lives of Garbage. The Economy of Waste

Project Details

Description

Based on original ethnographic research, this exhibition aims to raise public awareness about individual and collective waste management by exploring the ways that we collect, sort, repair, and transform refuse with the inventiveness that springs from necessity. Whether subject to diversions or high-tech treatments, waste gives shape to our landscapes and our social relations. Through more than 450 objects, documents, installations, films, maps, this exhibition invites you on a journey around the Mediterranean, to discover landscapes, technologies, recycled and reused objects, and above all to meet the men and women who manage our waste, subsisting and often suffering, because of it.

Furniss was on the advisory committee for the exhibition as a whole, authored two catalogue entries, co-edited/coordinated an accompanying peer reviewed publication of a special issue of the journal Techniques & culture (504 p., 350 ill.), and was the lead for the Cairo pavilion, 1 of three featured pavilions in the exhibition. This involved coordinating and conducting fieldwork and collection missions over 2.5 years leading up to the exhibition, resulting in the collection of photos, videos, sound recordings and objects. The biggest of these, a motorized tricycle used by itinerant scrap collectors, which was exported from Egypt to France, entered the museum’s permanent collection and was the largest item collected for the exhibition.

Layman's description

Lives of Garbage—The Economy of Waste
The exhibition “Lives of Garbage: The Economy of Waste” invites you on a journey around the Mediterranean, to discover land- scapes, technologies, recycled and reused objects, and above all to meet the men and women who manage our waste, subsisting and often suffering, because of it. To do so implies examining their know-how, their living conditions, and the social relation- ships and conflicts affecting them.
Based on ethnographic investigations conducted in Turkey, Albania, Egypt, Italy, Tunisia, Morocco, and in south-east France (Marseille and its metropolis), this exhibition aims to raise public awareness about individual and collective waste management by exploring the ways that we collect, sort, repair, and trans- form refuse with the inventiveness that springs from necessity. Whether subject to diversions or high-tech treatments, waste gives shape to our landscapes and our social relations.
This exhibition encourages us to question our lifestyles and models of consumption and production through more than 450 objects, documents, installations, films, maps and diagrams from the collections of the Mucem and ethnographic museums like the Musée du Quai Branly and the Museo Guatelli in the Parma region. It relies in particular on documents from the survey-acquisition campaigns initiated by the Mucem in 2014. Educational tools have also been designed especially for this exhibition including maps, waste classification tables, and models.
Portions of the exhibition (including the Egypt pavilion), have been exhibited elsewhere, in South Korea, Egypt, and Toulouse.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date22/03/1714/08/17