The people working with collecting our trash, are neither ranked highest on the income scale or in the social pyramid. I believe it’s a shame, because the people who handle our trash, are the heroes that make sure we don’t drown in it, and the ones who ensure we recycle just a fragment of our enormous daily waste.
I believe this is one of the main causes to our planet being completely covered in waste. Because people don’t see where their trash goes and don’t know the people who deal with it – I believe we should celebrate these people, – show how wonderful they are and how much potential and how many wonderful things we can create from our scraps. Because by doing this the children of tomorrow might grow up wanting to work with trash, because they don’t see it as something ugly and smelly, but as something beautiful and valuable.
As an artist this is the main issue I address in all my works – and why I made The Future Forest.
In Mexico City, these Heroes are called the Pepenadores and with the help from them, their children, more than 700 students, an orphanage an elderly home and more than 100 volunteers. We turned 3 tons of plastic waste into a 500m2 colorful plastic forest filled with thousands of flowers, trees and animals.
It took us 8 weeks to collect the trash and build the forest, that now is on display in the botanical garden of Chapultepec where it can be found for the next many months. I left for another project but the local organisation FYJA, who helped realize my dream of a forest made solely from plastic waste, are running workshops where new kids regularly come and build new flowers, plants and animals. This way the forest will keep growing and the message spread even more.
To see the process of turning waste into the Future Forest, please visit this link.