Agnese Codebò | Journal of Latin American Geography
The contemporary urgency of understanding trash and the social relations that form around it has driven a growing scholarship on the geographies of waste. In this article I contribute to these discussions by examining the implications of counter-maps for decolonizing dominant perspectives on territories of waste and the people who deal with it. To do so, I study three specific instances of landfill counter-mapping created in Buenos Aires: Antonio Berni’s 1960s series on Juanito Laguna, Iconoclasistas’s contemporary La República de los cirujas, and the publishing house Eloísa Cartonera. These, I argue, employ diverse artistic techniques to reveal the presence, practices, and struggles of those living and working in the city’s landfill. The visualization of these other ways of living ultimately results in the construction of knowledge that counters dominant epistemologies, which generally present waste as an obstacle to the Western model of modernization.