Curiosity Cabinet: Urban Scavenging

“Why are the dumpsters full…and locked? Discussing the social and historical context of food waste from the perspective of Victoria BC”

Noah Ross and Georgio Giovinazzo

Wednesday, March 16th, 5:30 – 7:30 pm at Discovery Coffee lounge (664 Discovery St)

Admission is $4 for Wayward School members ($8 non-members)

This talk will offer an interactive introduction to the ubiquitous figure of the dumpster; a figure that illustrates many of the paradoxes of a Mad Max North American society, hell bent on high production and the appearance of luxury. Our talk will begin by focusing on the economic, technological and social factors that together lead to large amounts of waste. We’ll link the food in the din behind Pepper’s to the competitive nature of our capitalist economy, the growth of aesthetic consumption habits, the presence of social stigmas linked to the use of waste, the protestant work ethic, and the economies of scale inherent in our global food web.

The talk will conclude by outlining some of the local politics around food waste in Victoria, outlining local legal history, some of the struggles that have surrounded specific scavenging sites and an outline of the tactics (compactors, grease, bleach, guards, locks, intentional product damaging and more) that are used to ensure that waste stays waste. We will also hold a discussion about some of the political reforms that could change the current system.

As a follow-up to this lecture, join Ross and Giovinazzo on a guided urban scavenging field trip and workshop, Saturday March 19th (click for details).

Georgio Giovinazzo (L) and Noah Ross (R)

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