Poetics of Garbage is a commentary on the human-garbage relationship. Here, waste is considered an opportunity, an untapped resource waiting to be harnessed. Some forward-looking fashion brands have been designing with waste materials, including Spanish brand Ecoalf who aim to create clothes with 100% recycled materials including discarded fishing nets, post-consumer plastic bottles, worn-out tyres, and used coffee grinds. The India based brand, Doodlage, source fabrics that have been left over or discarded by the large manufacturers, which account for “wastage” in export terms. Veena Sahajwalla has pioneered the world’s first ‘green steel’ technology, which uses old car tyres in the steel making process instead of coking coal. She is a pioneer in producing a new generation of green materials, products and resources made entirely, or primarily, from waste. In architecture, recycled and reused materials are slowly becoming attractive alternatives to conventional building materials. Manav Sadhna, an activity centre in Ahmedabad is built from multiple recycled materials, sourced from municipal and domestic waste. The House of Mixed Hues in Mumbai utilises recycled doors and windows from demolished houses in the city, and courtyard walls are built from the ‘waste’ generated in stone cutting yards. Contrary to the increasingly outmoded views of the linear materials economy, we can begin to appreciate how disposed material can be redesignated with value: waste can take form as fashion, architecture and energy. In Poetics of Garbage, spent things are given cultural agency and transformed into ‘writing machines’.
A blog entry by BeFantastic Within Fellows and creators of Give me a Sign, one of the winning commissions due to premier at FutureFantastic Festival in Bangalore March 2023, as part of the British Council’s programme, India/UK Together Season of Culture.
Artists: Bruce Gilchrist (UK), Aashna Arora (IND)