Keep the following questions in mind as you watch Vik Muniz, Wasteland. The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.
What is the overall goal of Vic Muniz’s project? What is the overall goal of the film? Are their goals the same, why/why not?
Which of the catadores did you most empathize with and why?
What do you think Muniz was trying to achieve or say by having the catadores pose as famous figures from the history of arc?
How much do you think a project like Muniz’s can redress excessive waste? That is, is it feasible remake or revalue trash as Muniz does at scale?
How does the filmmaker make use of framing and design to tell his story?
What is the context of the film? Where is the film set? How do context and set contribute to ways the filmmaker achieves his goals?
How does Muniz follow in the footsteps of artists like Andy Warhol? Is Muniz’s project the natural progression of the pop art that began in the 1960’s?
What do you think Jane Bennett or Scott Herring would respond to Muniz’s project?
Muniz and his wife argue about how his project will hurt the catadores. Do you think that the project will/does hurt them? What ethical responsibilities does Muniz owe his subjects?
Jarmin Gramacho closed in 2012. What do you imagine are the biggest challenges for the former catadores? What are the biggest environmental challenges?
How did the project ultimately transform Muniz? What do you think the filmmaker is trying to say by shooting Muniz in his study and kitchen in Brooklyn?