95 percent of ancient Ohio was forested. But centuries ago there were also small regions of prairie. Tall grasses and wildflowers were part of the prairie ecology and so were bison. Researchers near Columbus are trying to reestablish a prairie / bison ecosystem.
Filmed over nearly three years, Waste Land follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.
There he photographs an eclectic band of catadores â€” or garbage pickers. The catadores are the ultimate marginalized population; unemployed in any traditional sense of the word, they resort to picking valuable recyclable materials from the garbage thrown away by those in Brazil more fortunate than themselves.
Muniz, a Brazilian artist known for using unconventional materials to create portraits of marginalized people, set out to “paint” the catadores with the garbage they spent their days sorting through. But upon meeting the amazing characters who work at the landfill, he decides to turn the project into a collaboration with the catadores themselves.
“Independent Lens: Waste Land”
Sunday, April 24, 10:00 pm, WOSU TV
Friday, April 29, 1:00 am, WOSU TV