CATALYST 360º / MPUMELELO BUTHELEZI

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We are excited to announce that our Catalyst 360° programme is now live! We are proud to present 6 virtual exhibitions the have been produced over the past two months.

The second showcase focuses on the work by Mpumelelo Buthelezi. He was born in the year of democracy, 1994 in Soweto, South Africa. He taught himself to become a photographer because he wanted to interpret the time and place he was born into, to tell the untold stories of the communities of his country and to present them as narratives, full lives lived in the margins.

The virtual exhibition is set within CULTVR Lab where you can explore the space, the dome and more importantly, Mpumelelo’s installation E’Plazini. This exhibition features a photo documentary project about waste pickers who live in a neighbourhood called Dryhook Informal settlement, Phororo near Devland, Soweto. In South Africa it is estimated that 85,000 people make a living as waste collectors/recyclers. Waste pickers are people who collect and sort waste materials, and sell reusable and recyclable materials (such as paper, cardboard, plastic containers, glass, and metal) primarily in an informal capacity. In particular waste pickers contribute to higher levels of recycling within cities and towns, and help to divert waste from landfills. These people live by collecting waste material for recycling from all over Soweto for over the last ten years. They recycle their materials in a dumping area daily from 4am in the morning until 4pm, some work weekly and some on a daily basis. Recycle trucks then transport this waste materials to different firms, such as Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. At the recycling company they get R3, 20 per kilogram for plastic containers and empty cans; R1.20 per kilogram for plastic, and R2 per kilogram for cardboard boxes. They make about R40, on a good day, R60 and R200 weekly.

Catalyst 360° has been supported by the Arts Council of Wales.

You can click HERE to explore the virtual exhibition.