IFAS: Reclaiming Waste | International Conference

This conference is part of the Reclaiming Waste cycle, a series of academic, cultural, and public events coordinated by IFAS-Research, and the Cultural and Audio-Visual departments of the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), along with their partners and with the support of the Institut français à Paris (IF Paris).

The waste crisis is a global reality, whether in Northern or Southern countries, meanwhile societies face rising global social emergencies.

South Africa is no stranger to these challenges. To tackle them, associations, researchers, and experts advocate for the recognition and support of the highly efficient recyclables collection network formed by informal recyclers. In the current situation, informal recyclers undeniably play a major — if not the major — role in South Africa’s waste management system. But their socio-economic situation remains alarming. In cities like Johannesburg, residents often consider them as undesirables, denying them access to their containers, and thus limiting or impeding the very possibility of waste recovery.

As many social scientists have analysed, there is a striking overlap between the issue of social struggle and the environmental question. In such context, how do social actors situate themselves, how do they consider the potential convergence of these struggles, how do they organise themselves logistically, associatively and politically?

Through the Reclaiming Waste conference, social scientists, informal recyclers and activists will foster a conversation on these central issues, to both better handle the millions of tonnes of materials urban dwellers produce every day and insure the protection and dignity recyclers are entitled to.



Download Reclaiming-Waste-Programme.pdf  (PDF • 306 KB)

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