The movie Wasteland is a compelling documentary about Vik Muniz and his attempts to give back through his art. He travels to Brazil where he meets a group of people working as “pickers” in a huge garbage dump in Rio de Janero. These people collect recyclable materials all day long to trade in for money at the end of the day.
Vik’s goal is to raise awareness of these people and to show the world their hardships as they try to survive. He photographs this group of people he met and then recreates the photos out of recycled materials found at the dump they work so hard at. Once each piece was finished, he photographed it and created huge prints of them to show at a gallery. All the money he made for his work went straight back to the people of Rio to help them out.
The outcomes of this video were extremely moving. The people he involved in his project were so appreciative of him and gained new self respect for themselves. One girl said that she never wanted to go back to garbage because this project made her realize that she can do so much more. This project helped everyone involved realize that they can change their lives for the better. One man used the money to build a library and help the pickers, which ultimately helped more than just those few people involved in the project. So in the bigger picture, Vik Muniz changed the lives of thousands of people in Rio de Janero through art.