Waste Work

The Art of Survival in Dharavi

‘Waste Work’ documents a long-term project about waste, work and survival in the city of Mumbai which uses arts-based methods to establish an experimental learning space and innovation lab in Dharavi.

Compound 13 Lab is situated close to one of the city’s main recycling hubs, where each week thousands of tons of plastic waste are sorted, cleaned, and processed. Workers in this industry are amongst the lowest paid and lowest status in the city.

Using art, design, music, media and experimental science to generate knowledge and share learning, Compound 13 Lab explores the complex politics of the informal city and the biopolitics of disposability: how to make a living and survive within the everyday exclusions of such highly contested urban spaces.

The project offers ‘materials of hope’ for young people and workers caught up in the vicious cycles of an economy and society that treats them as disposable.

Published with Wunderkammer Press.

Ravi Agarwal