"Waste Land," a documentary defending the environment
Santo Domingo, November 20, 2010

Advocates of recycling in the country talked about the transformative power of art, during the last student panel at the Dominican Republic Global Film Festival, in the National Theatre.

"Waste Land,” a documentary defending the environmentOn Friday, November 19, the National Theatre hosted more than 1500 students from various schools, colleges and foundations in the country, who participated in the last student panel of the IV Dominican Republic Global Film Festival.

"Waste Land" was the film that motivated the discussion on the transformative power of art.

For over four hours students from the Centro de Excelencia República de Colombia, Liceo Manuel de Jesús Ciprián Valdez, El Apostolado, Víctor Estrella Liz, Pieta Foundation, Cardenal Sancha Politechnical Institute, Liceo Juan Bosch and Colegio Núñez de Cáceres, enjoyed exciting exhibitions.

A particular story with a global theme

"Waste Land" is an exhilarating documentary film directed by Lucy Walker in which the transformative power of art and the beauty of the human spirit are shown through recycling and environmental protection.

The film showcases the life of the "catadores" or collectors of recyclable materials from the world's largest landfill, the Gramacho Garden, located in Brazil, who become the source of artistic inspiration for Vik Muniz, one of the most renowned contemporary artists.

"Waste Land" captivated the audience, which was moved by the plot of the film, winner of many awards at festivals around the world, including the Audience Award at the 2010 Sundance Festival and at the Berlin Film Festival.

Recycling Advocates

Ginny Heinsen De Freitas, representative of the Centre for the Development of Agriculture and Forestry (CEDAF) introduced the discussion, which was held following the film screening. "Waste Land invites the creation of awareness on environmental care. We must take into account that not everything that we throw in the waste basket is trash, 30 percent are resources that may be valuable," she said.

She also reported that CEDAF currently runs the 3Rs Network, a program promoting recycling in public schools in the country. “Reduce, reuse and recycle, should be our philosophy of life," she indicated.

For his part, Miledys Mendez, on behalf of the Ministry of the Environment, said that "the young generation in school can help mitigate this problem by raising awareness and having a multiplying effect. This is a national problem and we must all join forces. "

Student Anthony Guzman said that "the movie touched me personally because it presents a reality that, despite being caused by us, we almost always ignore it." Also, student Sharlyn Hernandez said that "caring for the environment is to ensure the welfare of the lungs of the world; it really hurts me to see that the planet is sick because of so much garbage."

Likewise, the manager of Zurza’s Department of Planning and Management of the Environmental Health Foundation (Fundsazurza) noted that 48 schools are currently making works of art from recyclable solid materials, while urging those present to promote the 3Rs in their communities.

A special appetizer

The Free Schools National System of the Ministry of Culture is a program focusing on promoting art schools, and applied arts and related trades, in suburban communities, neighborhoods and municipalities in the country, said its director, Ángel Mejía.

The public had the opportunity to see the Capotillo group dance on stage presenting the show "The sounds of my neighborhood", which is part of this system. "These young people have contributed their two cents, by converting debris left by the Ozama River into musical instruments," said Mejia.

"Garbage is everywhere, as is art; these young people from Capotillo have managed to find beauty where it seems that there was none," said Asuncion Sanz, representative of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD).

By Cinthia Lazala

See additional photos of this event in our Photo Gallery - Santo Domingo - Wasteland, Nov. 19, 2010 >