WASTE LAND: The Power of Art and the
Resilience of the Human Spirit



For our March 15 Screening the Issues film-talk event, UNA-NY presented WASTE LAND, a 2011 Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Feature and the winner of the Audience Awards at both the Sundance and the Berlin International Film Festivals.

Directed by Lucy Walker, this uplifting documentary celebrates the transformative power of art and resilience of the human spirit. It also gets to the heart of the debate on poverty, environment and waste without imposing a certain viewpoint.

Celebrated artist Vik Muniz, who was featured in the film, and H.E. Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations, joined us after the program for a lively discussion.

John Sweeney, Hiroshi Murakami (President of Toray Industries America, Inc.), Paula Rice Jackson, Lord Norman Foster, Dr. Peter Rajsingh

From left: UNA-NY Executive Director Ann Nicol, Dr. Eduardo Viotti, Brazilian Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, artist Vik Muniz, Halina Hoffman and Alan Coelho de Sellos, Counsellor.

Vik Muniz, whose commitment to promote social justice through art, talked about the redemptive power of creation, when things without value can be revalidated by the artist's vision. The audience was elevated by his talent, honesty and genuine compassion.

Ambassador Viotti offered her insights on waste and inequality in Brazil as well as on the steps the United Nations has taken to address the issues of sustainability and environmental degradation.

It was an unforgettable evening filled with art and humanity that moved and ignited a connection between all who were present.



reportage: Halina Hofmann

photography: MelanieQuinnPhotography.com