Advertisement

The World Besieged by Waste: On Garbage, Recycling, and Sublimation

  • Carlos RojasEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines several recent works, both fictional and non-fictional, that foreground issues of recycling and waste disposal in contemporary China—particularly in relation to the migrant labourers who frequently live near or even in China’s open-air waste dumps. The focus is on how these representations of municipal waste, which is invariably figured as an object of disgust and revulsion, are interwoven with themes of beauty and desire. The chapter suggests that a dialectics of refuse as both garbage and recyclables offers a way of approaching both the environment as such and the Anthropocene—the latter being understood as an environment that has been nearly irreversibly transformed by human activity.

Bibliography

  1. Albeck-Ripka, Livia. 2018. Your Recycling Gets Recycled, Right? Maybe, or Maybe Not. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/29/climate/recycling-landfills-plastic-papers.html. Accessed 4 Aug 2018.
  2. Cornell, Christen. 2012. The Affluent and the Effluent: Wang Jiuliang’s Beijing Besieged by Waste. Senses of Cinema. http://sensesofcinema.com/2012/miff2012/the-affluent-and-the-effluent-wang-jiuliangs-beijing-besieged-by-waste/. Accessed 21 May 2018.
  3. Denison, Richard A., and John F. Ruston 1997. Recycling Is Not Garbage. New York Times. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/400100/recycling-is-not-garbage/. Accessed 27 June 2018.
  4. Dooley, Emily C., and Carl MacGowan. 2017. Long Island’s Infamous Garbage Barge of 1987 Still Influences Laws. Newsday. https://projects.newsday.com/long-island/long-island-garbage-barge-left-islip-30-years-ago/. Accessed 16 Oct 2018.
  5. Hutchinson, Alex. 2008. Is Recycling Worth It? PM Investigates Its Economic and Environmental Impact. Popular Mechanics. https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/a3752/4291566/. Accessed 25 May 2018.
  6. Kristeva, Julia. 1982. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. Trans. Leon S. Roudiez. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Lacan, Jacques. 1998. Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  8. Parker, Laura, and Kennedy Elliot. 2018. Plastic Recycling Is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It. National Geographic. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/06/china-plastic-recycling-ban-solutions-science-environment/. Accessed 14 Nov 2018.
  9. Randolph, Maya Eva Gunst. 2018. CinemaTalk: A Conversation with Filmmaker Ji Dan. DGenerate Films. http://dgeneratefilms.com/critical-essays/cinematalk-a-conversation-with-ji-dan. Accessed 14 Nov 2018.
  10. Resource Recycling. 2018. From Green Fence to Red Alert: A China Timeline. https://resource-recycling.com/recycling/2018/02/13/green-fence-red-alert-china-timeline/. Accessed 22 Jan 2018.
  11. Tierney, John. 1996. Recycling Is Garbage. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/1996/06/30/magazine/recycling-is-garbage.html?pagewanted=all. Accessed 3 June 2018.
  12. Wang, Jiuliang. 2011. Beijing Besieged by Garbage. Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review, No. 1. http://cross-currents.berkeley.edu/e-journal/photo-essay/beijing-besieged-garbage/statement. Accessed 18 Sept 2018.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA

Personalised recommendations