For Immediate Release

Film Clips & Conversation: "Garbage City and the Informal Economy"

Cambridge, March 8, 2012 - Garbage is the economic engine of Cairo's Manshayet Nasser neighborhood, also known as "Garbage City." This is the home of the Zabaleen – the city's community of traditional garbage collectors.

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, the Outreach Center at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Semitic Museum present film clips and conversation, "Garbage City and the Informal Economy," on Thursday April 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm at Northwest Lab, Rm. 103B (52 Oxford St., Cambridge). The free event will be followed by a public reception.

Cairo produces 15,000 tons of garbage daily, and much of it is collected, taken home, sorted, and recycled by the Zabaleen, who also keep pigs to consume organic waste. In recent years, the Zabaleen way of life has been threatened by the Egyptian government’s plans to employ large corporations to pick up the garbage as well as a mass slaughter of the Zabaleen’s pigs.
The documentary Zabaleen captures life in the neighborhood with garbage collector Mourad and his family. Three of the filmmakers (Justin Kramer, director, Lauren McCarthy and Carrie Vermillion, producers) will join the head of a global waste pickers network Lucia Fernandez, (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing) to screen clips from Zabaleen and discuss the informal economy of trash recycling with the Peabody Museum's associate curator of visual anthropology Ilisa Barbash.

The event is part of the Peabody Museum's continuing series Trash Talk: The Anthropology of Waste. April features three more Trash Talk events: a lecture about disaster clean-up and several family events. See the Calendar of Events for more.

About the Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum is among the oldest archaeological and ethnographic museums in the world with one of the finest collections of human cultural history found anywhere. It is home to superb materials from Africa, ancient Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, Oceania, and South America in particular. In addition to its archaeological and ethnographic holdings, the Museum’s photographic archives, one of the largest of its kind, hold more than 500,000 historical photographs, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and chronicling anthropology, archaeology, and world culture.

Hours and location: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., seven days a week. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for children, 3–18. Free with Harvard ID or Museum membership. The Museum is free to Massachusetts residents Sundays, 9 A.M. to noon, year round, and Wednesdays from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. (September to May). Admission includes admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. For more information call 617-496-1027 or go online to: The Peabody Museum is located at 11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Museum is a short walk from the Harvard Square MBTA station.

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Faith Sutter
Communications Coordinator
Peabody Museum
Tel: 617-495-3397


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Zabaleen photo by Justin Kramer

The Manshayet Nasser district of Cairo, also known as "Garbage City." Egypt, 2009. Photo by Justin Kramer.

Part of the Trash Talk: Anthropology of Waste series. See more on the Calendar of Events page.

Film Clips & Conversation: "Garbage City and the Informal Economy" is Thursday April 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm at Northwest Lab, Rm. B103, 52 Oxford St., Cambridge.

A public reception follows at Northwest Lab.

Co-sponsored by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, the Outreach Center at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Semitic Museum, Harvard University

Justin Kramer, director, Zabaleen

Lauren McCarthy, producer, Zabaleen

Carrie Vermillion, producer, Zabaleen

Lucia Fernandez, Waste Pickers Global Coordinator, WIEGO Network

Ilisa Barbash, Associate Curator of Visual Anthropology, Peabody Museum

Admission: FREE

Public information: 617-496-1027

High resolution images available on request.



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