UNESCO and World Waste


Copyright © 2015 Alejandro Duran. All Rights Reserved.

Click  http://blog.bricartsmedia.org/featured-artist-alejandro-duran/   for a slideshow of this amazing work or visit Alejandro’s website http://www.alejandroduran.com

Sian Ka’an reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage site distinguished by pre-Columbian archeology and the second largest coral reef in the world.  Its beaches, however, are the recipient of the northeast Caribbean Current that carries the plastic debris from over 50 countries as photographed and documented by Alejandro Duran.

His work is on display at Brooklyn’s Habana Outpost so Martin and I went.  Alejandro is one really great guy!  Award winning, enthusiastic, sensitive, generous and well versed in the subject of waste awareness.  He cleverly transforms this pristine natural landscape with compositions of the international plastic waste that is destroying it. His landscapes capture our careless disregard for what happens to our waste when we don’t responsibly discard it.  The series of large format photographs is called Washed Up.  

Alejandro’s foresight into the evolutionary outcome of our consumerism highlights an ironic message.  This is our Heritage.  The contrast between the unpolluted environment of Sian Ka’an; home to vast populations of “protected” flora and fauna, and the currents of inherited, colorful, fossil fuel derived stuff is most apparent in a short documentary film by Stefanie Durán that accompanies the exhibit.  At one point in the film a hermit crab is trying to escape a ziplock plastic bag.  The clear bag depicts the sights and sounds of the crab’s domain trapped amongst trash instead of the sand, shells and seaweed of this otherwise pristine secluded coastal environment.

UNESCO is obviously a victim of pressures beyond its control.  It sponsors The Garbage Patch State to bring awareness to the fact that the Garbage Patch (referring the the Great Pacific Garbage Patch) is one of the most serious forms of pollution caused by humankind.  With artist, Maria Cristina Finucci, UNESCO launched this ambitious project announcing that the Garbage Patch will be recognized as a federal state with a “population” of 36,939 tons of garbage. Discovered in 1989, it covers an area of 15,915,933 square meters, and its flag is blue, like the oceans it pollutes. The nation is large but inhabited.  Would you like to visit?  ©M. C. Finucci – The Garbage Patch State


UNESCO will help bring information to the public, with particular emphasis on pollution, sustainable development and education.  Alejandro will present Washed Up and continue to infect us with his captivating vision. His next project will involve our very own Brooklyn!

How You Can Help:

  • So much needs to be done.  Support trash art, trash teaching, trash reduction, trash awareness.
  • Learn about our garbage problem and get involved.
  • There are probably cleanup efforts happening near you.
  • When you go to the beach make sure you pick up after yourself.
  • Avoid using single-serving plastic items and replace them by reusable items.
  • Follow and share blogs about waste awareness.  Like ourwastematters.com!
  • Avoid products with plastic exfoliating beads.
  • Refuse excess packaging, re-use and recycle as much as possible.
  • Remember that very little of the plastic produced each year is actually recycled and much of it finds its way to the ocean.

Until next week,   Unknown

Copyright © 2015 Alejandro Durán. All Rights Reserved

Garbage Girl


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