Patrik Zapata, María José Zapata Campos

Waste tours. Narratives, infrastructures and gazes in interplay

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Waste Tourism; Waste Gaze; Societal Narratives; Waste Prevention; Wasting Less; Consuming Less.

Waste management makes life in cities possible. Paradoxically, well-functioning waste infrastructures can contribute to obscure the link between production, consumption and nature. One way to render waste infrastructures, and their environmental consequences, visible is through guided tours. School children around the world visit waste infrastructures through guided tours. Informed by an ethnographic study of several waste tours in Sweden, this paper explores how waste and waste infrastructure is gazed upon and represented during guided tours, and how plots/scripts (narratives), sceneries (infrastructure), guides and visitors (gaze) interact and coalesce to reproduce these representations. The paper contributes to the emerging body of literature on discard and waste studies by introducing the concepts of «the waste gaze» and suggesting the need for a new «consuming less» narrative, beyond narratives of «wasting less».

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