Harm and Hope : How we relate to our rubbish

Kavita Thanki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper asks the reader to engage with questions about their conceptualisation
of and relationship with waste, drawing attention to the ubiquity and in/visibility
of it. It considers how waste is, variously, a source of disease and danger; a
material resource which is enfolded into our financial and cultural economies;
and a fundamental element in the formation of self. The paper gives a brief
overview of the ethical, economic and ecological issues with recycling before
moving on to explore reuse and repurpose as waste management alternatives,
emphasising the radical difference in favouring these processes. Finally it
considers indigenous Australian approaches to rubbish, discussing the ways in
which these challenge the binary between nature and waste. By muddying this
distinction we can shift our thinking towards a creative, positive, compassionate
understanding of the past, the material world, the place these have in the future,
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-51
Number of pages4
JournalIntersections (Postgraduate Journal - Arts , Humanities , Social Sciences)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


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