Garbage city, airplane boneyard: "And then they come here. The problem is they're just not wanted any more."

Two remarkable instances of salvage, one utterly lumpen, one utterly big business, both minus the punk, and both material signs of the times.

From Erik, this io9 article (and the Inhabitat piece here, with more pictures and gestures toward the socio-political backdrop) on Manshiyat naser ('Garbage City'), on the outskirts of Cairo, where the Zabbaleen (garbage collectors) carve an "informal" - a term that always leaves a bad taste in the mouth - economy from the city's constant refuse output, recycling, reselling, dwelling total in the cast-off. Much to say about this, but I don't know the geopolitcal context as I should. Cynically, I can't help but noticing how the light in the pictures only ramps up the Wall-Eness of the view from above, the odd quiet of the reshaped piles of sorted trash. (The asubjective POV that marks so much of the post-apocalyptic.) More interesting/desperate is the consequences of swine flu epidemic fears this past spring, which led to the mass slaughter of the Zabbaleen's pigs, pigs that were crucial in the processing (read: eating scraps) of the garbage. This of course leads to the inability of fully taking on and working through the wasteheaps, which now spread back from the zone composed solely of excess waste to the central sites producing waste and excess.

And from Alberto, a lighter note, given the fact that there really is a company called Air Salvage International (with whom I'd like to/fear to fly, on a shitty dirigible made of leftover beer bottles, car seats, and wings of melted down action figures). The story of the "jet cemetery":

"Against a backdrop of the Cotswold hills, three giant Boeing 747s which had until recently been plying their trade in southern Africa as freighters, await their turn in the new year to be painstakingly stripped of anything of value, before their gleaming aluminium airframes meet the jaws of an industrial wrecking machine."

1 comment:

GooseBreeder said...

So typical that the bureaucrats would order the slaughter of pigs crucial to a system like this in order that it will collapse and they won't feel so threatened by the anarchy of it all.