I am an INTJ, or an introverted intuitive thinking judging, personality type. From what I read, it sounds like my type is pretty balanced between being a logical person and a creative person. It also makes me sound like a very critical person. I am all of these. I found it interesting that the description said that I expected people to ‘make sense’. I often find myself making assumptions about people’s character based on minimal interaction. To be fair, I’m usually right, but I still found it interesting that the article addressed it.
Whose story is told in the documentary?
– the catadores of Jardim Gramacho and Vik Muniz, during the creation of a set of portraits made of garbage.
Whose is not told?
-a lot of people, but none that were necessary to the effectiveness of the documentary.
How do the people in the film identify with their community?
– Vik Muniz uses his ties to the Brazilian community as inspiration for his work, particularly in the work documented in this film. The catadores carry a pride in what they do for the community, but are consistently fighting for more attention in the political/social system.
What are the common bonds of the people in this film?
-all of the people whose stories we follow come from poorer parts of Brazil. The catadores have a sort of familial bond because they all share the same less-than-desirable job.
What challenges do they face in expressing their identity?
-the catadores live in pretty poor conditions. They have physically and mentally taxing jobs and often have to make sacrifices for the ones the love.
How is the transformed garbage portrait more powerful than the original photo?
-the garbage portrait is more powerful than the photo because it adds a much more powerful meaning, particularly for the subject. The garbage is what they work with everyday and they don’t see it as anything beautiful or special. They don’t see the potential of the materials until they are confronted with the finished product of their work. In a way, they see themselves, like the garbage, as unwanted and worthless. Seeing what they can create with garbage allows them to see the potential in their own lives and encourages them to do something with that potential.
Do you think Vik Muniz’s project did more damage or good to the catadores?
– I think it did much more good. His project improved the self-images of his subjects. He let them see themselves as something more than garbage, oddly enough, by making the out of garbage. He also drew national attention to the catador union, and international attention to the situation in Jardim Gramacho.
“Self” can be defined as a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially when considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action. “Others” can be used to define a person or a group of persons who are different or distinct from the self. That makes it sounds so simple. It’s really not. Self and others are such broad concepts that it’s very difficult to really fully explore them. At least from a linguistic perspective, but words have multiple connotations. For example: self can mean your physical body, or your conscious being. One can be by themselves, or they can keep something to themselves. People, places, and things can all be ‘others’. It pretty much feels like ‘self’ applies to a specific individual from their own perspective and others is everything else. The concept of “voice” obviously deals with communication. It is by using this voice that the self can benefit through interaction with the community, or the ‘others’. There is a mutually beneficial relationship in the interaction of self and others. By working for the community, one can learn about themselves and contribute to the community. This can be an especially beneficial relationship for an artist. By interacting with the community an artist can gain a deeper understanding of their work and it’s place in the community, as well as a stronger relationship with their work.
As a creative person, I would have to say that I’m more interested in the concept of divergent thinking than I am in the concept of convergent thinking. From my research, it sounds like convergent thinking deals in absolutes. This form of thinking encourages the idea of a 100% right answer and a 100% wrong answer. It doesn’t seem like there’s any wiggle room. As an intuitive person will tell you, however, that’s very rarely how things work. Divergent thinking is a process much more naturally suited to the way we function. Divergent thinking works by allowing the thinker to explore all avenues of thought related to a subject, instead of looking at a problem and searching only for a solution. Divergent thinking encourages creativity and allows for all sides of an issue be understood. Divergent thinking relies on the rhizomatic process. The idea of the rhizome was developed by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, and is named for its similarity to a botanical rhizome, or a complicated root system. Basically this process rejects the idea of thinking in a coherent one-dimensional line, and instead employs the concept of thought being a non-organized maze of data and intuition. Visually this would look much like the root system the rhizome is named after.
“Conversations: Here and Now” by Indira Freitas Johnson.
A circle of bronze chairs where community meetings are organized. The purpose of the meetings are to share experiences and cultural traditions.