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Mumbai Dharavi INDIA 


1min 33 sec

sound by Franz Dude 

As part of a Mumbai street art festival, I painted in Asia's largest slum, Dharavi, home to around 600,000 people. This city within a city thrives on recycling, with activities like collecting, sorting, and reselling recyclables. Organizers from Dharavi provided an exclusive tour, revealing cramped alleys and bustling workshops where every square meter is utilized. Witnessing plastic recycling for the first time, I observed massive piles sorted by color, machines crushing plastic waste, and the environmental challenges faced by workers. Unprotected, they toiled amidst airborne plastic particles, highlighting the concerning side effects. Additionally, I discovered that large quantities of plastic are exported from the EU to India annually. During our exploration, I encountered a meticulous metal scrap separator. Intrigued, I sought permission to photograph him, envisioning a stop-motion video featuring the scrap parts. Inspired by these encounters, my film ideas evolve during repeated visits, conversations, and a deep immersion into the stories behind the objects. In Dharavi, aware that I might not return, I enlisted the help of my companions to negotiate with the metal worker. Initially quoting around 30 Rupees, he expressed surprise at someone wanting to buy scrap from him. With organizational assistance, the supervisor intervened, proposing 200 rupees—almost seven times the original quote. Accepting the offer, I secured the scrap for my project.

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