February 7, 2008

Roma recyclers in Kosovo?

If you're not interested in metal scrap, I assure you that you will be if you read down and check out these sources.

Here at the U of C, I have a colleague Brian Ashby who's been producing a documentary on local scavengers of scrap metal. They have a website - http://www.scrappersmovie.com/.

This apparently feeds into a growing and formalizing global metal recycling industry. I read a great article about it in The New Yorker by Jonathan Seabrook, "American Scrap", 1/14/08 http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/01/14/080114fa_fact_seabrook

What does this have to do with the CEERES region? Brian sent me this fascinating documentary about a culture of Roma recyclers in Kosovo.

It's called "Pretty Dyana - A Gypsy recycling saga"
by Boris Mitic

An intimate look at Gypsy refugees in a Belgrade suburb who make a living by transforming Citroen's classic 2cv and Dyana cars into Mad Max-like recycling vehicles, with which they collect cardboard, bottles and scrap metal. These modern horses are much more efficient than the cart-pushing competition, but more important - they also mean freedom, hope and style for their crafty owners. Even the car batteries are used as power generators in order to get some light, watch tv and recharge mobiles! Almost an alchemist's dream come true! But the police doesn't always find these strange vehicles funny...

The whole movie (45min) is posted on google video:

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