Hooks and baskets: the waste pickers’ tools


Antananarivo, Madagascar, June 2015. Photo by A. Pierrat.

This photograph shows the slow progress of waste pickers around the Andralanitra landfill site as they finish their round in the mid-morning. These workers, referred to as “chiffonniers” (ragpickers) in Madagascar, rummage the mountains of garbage for their most valuable objects. The baskets and hooks that are visible here are the only tools at their disposal. The waste pickers are the first link in a complex network of intermediaries. The materials and objects are then sold on to wholesalers and redirectedto specialized markets in the city centre or to craftsmen’s workshops. The waste pickers of Andralanitra are showing no hostility towards the photographer: they are used to the media coverage received by Father Pedro’s charity, founded in 1989, which supports the most vulnerable.

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