Powerful Photos of e-Waste in Ghana

Unsettling images of third world e-waste processing are powerful reminders to tend to the life-cycles of our own gear. I've featured the work of Edward Burtynsky and National Geographic; now I continue to learn about new bodies of work.

Jane Hahn's work from Ghana portrays workers, often young, laboring in a landscape of burning cables and shattered gear. The Times offered this description in an article last week: "As one edges closer to the world’s fastest-growing e-waste dumping site at Agbogbloshie, it is the smell that hits hardest. A blend of burning rubber and chemicals clogs the nostrils, stings the eyes and hangs at the back of the throat."

For more about e-waste problems and solutions, click the "recycle" tag at the top of this post.

Update 2009.12.14
"Discarded Electronics Are Poisoning African Children" features photos by Chris Jordan. Author Sarah Parsons writes, "Take a region of Accra, Ghana, that’s nicknamed Soddom and Gomorrah. Tons of the developed world’s electronic waste like discarded computers gets shipped there every year, with most of the items being disassembled and burned by local children. The poverty-stricken kids, some as young as eight years old, even harvest the leftover scrap metal to sell, exposing themselves to large amounts of heavy metals and carcinogenic fumes."

Update 2010.08.16
Now, a New York Times slideshow features Pieter Hugo's photos of Ghanaian e-waste's impact on people and the environment. We've been posting links to these for over a year. Easy to photograph; tough to stop.

More e-Waste Images

@ecologee sent me this link to more e-waste images from around the world: http://ewasteguide.info/imagegallery

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