Current Event 7/21/12

Hamburg's artist population is diverse and talented. So is its population of trash collectors. To increase the public opinion of trash collectors throughout the country, the "Trashcan Project" began with ten trash collectors and one pinhole camera. The relatively rudimentary technology was organized by employees from Scholz and Friends, who transformed a trash bin into a camera with little effort. Although collectors were skeptical of the technology, they complied with the request to choose their favorite view of the city. Among views chosen were the church of Altenwerder and the City Hall.
Many trash collectors do not view their jobs as horrible, and many are trained in other positions but have worked this job for over 20 years.
Waiting an hour for photos to reach exposure has proved worth it: the project has been awarded the Silver Lion at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. Although the camera has been broken and can no longer take photos, the collectors and the public are amazed by the success of the work, which has been dubbed "Tonnografie:" a marriage of the German words for trash and photography. The marriage of the words is not the only remarkable union: trash as art demonstrates again Germany's unique culture and that culture's potential for growth.


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