Jose Ferreira Documented Lives Of Dump Scavengers In Mozambique

All images by Jose Ferreira. Used with permission. 

Jose Ferreira braved the unglamorous filth of a trash dump site to document the human lives he encountered there in his project titled “Trash Land”.

The landfill site at Huléne is located nearby the airport of the city capital, Maputo in southern Mozambique. As more trash was being dumped on the site daily, the “dump scavengers” will scour the dump for any items that can be pawned for cash, particularly recycle-able materials. These people were often the desperately poor and homeless who would seek their luck finding anything useful at all at the dump site to try making it through the day. Within the extremities of foul condition in a dump site collecting the ever-expanding rubbish produced by human over-consumption in a fast economic growing country, Jose has found very human stories to tell through his photography. 

Jose primarily framed his subjects in an environmental portrait format, using wider angle perspective to cover more meaningful background in his shots. This effectively established the sense of location where the portraits were being taken, allowing the viewers to wander around the dump site surrounding the human subjects in the photographs. In the midst of the overall depressing tone, Jose managed to capture something instinctively human in his shots: some of the “dump scavengers” showing beautiful smiles in stark contrast to the disgusting never-ending sea of garbage they stood on.

You may find more of Jose Ferreira’s documentary work here. 

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