Perspective – Rubbish, it depends on how you look at it

Illustration Friday, collage, rubbish

The topic for this week’s Illustration Friday is perspective.  I was struck at all sorts of levels by a programme involving Kevin McCloud for Chanel 4 called ‘slumming it‘.  In this programme he visited families living in the Dharavi, Mumbai who were invovled in the picking of litter from the dumps and the sorting of waste for recycling. One particular comment struck me, something along the lines of ‘no one in the UK would expect to do this’.  I can not begin to go into the rights or wrongs of the situation for the 13.6 million people in Mumbai; I have not been there and have no direct knowledge of their circumstances.

However, I do know that litter, rubbish, detritus call it what you will affects us all. Today, I collected the rubbish from our half mile of lane, 16 people live here; the rubbish weighed about a stone and filled one large carrier bag. Multiplied up to 13.6 million that would be the equivalent of  about 9,000 tonnes.  I don’t assume the people in the lane left the rubbish there.  I think most of it was tossed from passing cars.  I sorted it for recycling, further down the line someone will pick through it and pass it on to the next stage.  I trust, though I can’t be sure, that it is eventually recycled.

I will continue to do what I can to reduce, reuse, recycle and clean up my piece of countryside.  I also wish Radio Suffolk’s Mark Murphy all the best with his ‘Don’t be a tosser campaign’.  I will continue to support WaterAid as one of the charities which works with the people of  Dharavi.

The image above is created using the photo of my bag of rubbish from the litter pick and images of the rubbish from Mumbai with a water colour over-wash to bleach it out.  The pylons form part of the view in the lane here, there are not many more powerful symbols of conspicuous consumerism than the electricity we are fortunate enough to have pumped to our homes 24 hours a day.  Without this I could not blog, tweet and live the life I currently enjoy.

I just wish I could make sense of it all.

Result of the litter pick in the lane


Posted on February 27, 2010, in Illustration Friday, rural Suffolk and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Have to say it makes you wonder what these peoples homes and gardens are like!

  2. Even when it isn’t trash, what I don’t understand locally is people blowing their leaves off lawns into the street. We don’t have street sweepers in the suburbs… so where to they think the leaves will go?
    nice essay and image.
    And your BANNER IS GORGEOUS!!!

  3. I remember litter was something that we talked about as far back as the 70s, when I was a child in my village in Wales, with the Keep Britain Tidy campaign taking a prominent role. Back then and indeed now, I see primary school children taking pride in litter picks and doing something that helps the world they care about. What I can’t understand is the point where this care for our actions and the feeling of personal responsibility takes a nose-dive for a certain minority. And if we haven’t found the answer in the last forty years, it concerns me that we never will. However, thanks to campaigns like Mark’s Don’t be a Tosser, communities can feel empowered to do something and take action locally, which is fantastic. Great post Grethic 🙂

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