Very interesting, morally and ethically-charged presentation by Robin Nagle. She has been the anthropologist-in-residence at the Department of Sanitation in New York City since 2006, and she is the author of Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City, published in 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Landfill Harmonic is an upcoming feature-length documentary about a remarkable orchestra from a remote village in Paraguay, where its young musicians play with instruments made from trash:
Cateura, Paraguay is a town essentially built on top of a landfill. Garbage collectors browse the trash for sellable goods, and children are often at risk of getting involved with drugs and gangs. When orchestra director Szaran and music teacher Favio set up a music program for the kids of Cateura, they soon have more students than they have instruments.
That changed when Szaran and Favio were brought something they had never seen before: a violin made out of garbage. Today, there’s an entire orchestra of assembled instruments, now called ‘The Recycled Orchestra’.
Our film shows how trash and recycled materials can be transformed into beautiful sounding musical instruments, but more importantly, it brings witness to the transformation of precious human beings.
I will be giving a paper entitled ‘Eliot’s Exhalations’ – a short piece about reading manuscript drafts and textual waste – at the TRASH conference at the University of Sussex in September. The conference organisers describe their aims: ‘Trash operates as a physical and symbolic manifestation of consumer society and its associated debris; it celebrates the filthy, excessive and grotesque; and it expresses how power communicates and classifies abject bodies. It not only describes the devaluation of trash culture, but it also refers to the material practices and processes through which we deal with ‘waste’ in all its forms. This one day conference will rummage through the trash heap of history, art, media, culture, politics, and society in order to uncover new scholarly approaches and methods that continue to appropriate and recycle theories of trash.’
Guest speaker: Dr Tracey Potts, University of Nottingham
Arpad Boczen, Sweet Urban Stink in our Ears, Advanced School of Architecture, Budapest
Francisco Calafate-Faria, The ‘Museum of Rubbish’ in Curitiba: Short-Cycling or Line of Flight?, Goldsmiths, University of London
Sarah Carney, ‘Sometimes a tampon in a banana skin is just a tampon in a banana skin’— Don DeLillo: keeping trash trash because beauty is truth and truth is death, University of Sussex
Amy Carson, Title TBC, University of Leeds,
Munira Cheema, Assessing the power of Trash TV in Pakistani television culture, University of Sussex
Natacha Chevalier, When waste was trash: The thrifty 30s and 40s, University of Sussex
Bel Deering, Mortal Remains: the perils, pitfalls and pleasures of studying rubbish in a graveyard setting, University of Brighton
Simon Hobbs, Antichrist as the Culturally Schizophrenic Artefact, University of Portsmouth
Chris Lloyd, Hurricane Katrina and the South’s disposable (trashy) bodies, Goldsmiths, University of London
James MacDowell, So Bad it’s Good: Value, Intention, and the Aesthetics of Ironic Appreciation, University of Warwick
Claire Reddleman, “Modern and contemporary route-finding”: reactivating dead labour as spheres of appearance in ‘Pennine Street 2012, Goldsmiths, University of London
Cheryl Roberts, Skeletons in her Cupboard, University of Brighton
Clare Thomas, Plastic Beaches, Plastic Sea, University College Falmouth
Will Viney, Eliot’s Exhalations, Assistant Editor, Pluto Press; Commissioning Editor, Pod Academy
Tally Yaacobi-Gross, Remembering the discarded: Waste, guilt and trauma, Goldsmiths, University of London
Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies presents:
A one day postgraduate conference at the University of Sussex
Friday 14th September 2012
Trash operates as a physical and symbolic manifestation of consumer society and its associated debris; it celebrates the filthy, excessive and grotesque; and it expresses how power communicates and classifies abject bodies. It not only describes the devaluation of trash culture, but it also refers to the material practices and processes through which we deal with ‘waste’ in all its forms.
In this one day postgraduate conference we propose to rummage through the trash heap of history, art, media, culture, politics, and society in order to uncover new scholarly approaches and methods that continue to appropriate and recycle theories of trash.
We welcome papers from postgraduate researchers considering the decayed, disposed of, degraded and decried from a range of academic disciplines.
To coincide with TRASH at the University of Sussex the conference organisers will also be curating an evening of art, film and music in central Brighton on Thursday 13th September. The evening will be the welcome event for the conference and it will also provide the opportunity to engage with and network around the theme of trash outside of the academy.
We are seeking proposals for a range of contribution formats to be considered for either the conference or the evening event:
Art, art installation, performance and photography.
Please send a Word document to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 16th July 2012 containing the following information:
· A 100 word biography.
We also have two bursaries of £50 available to postgraduate students who will be travelling from outside Brighton and contributing to the conference. If you wish to apply for a bursary please attach a separate Word document containing a 200 word statement. Please explain how and why attending this conference will benefit your research and include an estimate of your costs.
Conference registration will open in July, please check the blog for details. The conference fees are £10 or £5 (students).