Brazil born, New York City based photographer and artist Vik Muniz wanted to give something back to those who struggle as he did, rising from the lower economic rung. What he encountered and what happened--as documented in Waste Land by director Lucy Walker--was, without exaggeration, life changing. This is true for for Muniz as well as the junk pickers and recyclers he photographed for Portraits in Garbage, his transformational, large-scale pictorial series. As Walker explains, “When people tell me they cried during the movie, I say, 'Who didn’t cry?'" The award winning film festival favorite takes the most unlikely of subjects to make one of the year’s most memorable documents. (44 minutes)
Note: Vik Muniz gave an inspiring presentation about this project during the 2009 Creative Time Summit: Revolutions in Public Practice in a session called Alternative Economies that we recorded and keep on the Creative Time page in our archive.