Alienated Chaos
installation on the campus of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology,
Kumasi, Ghana
Rex Akinruntan, 2011
electronic products discarded globally [have] skyrocketed, with approximately 20-50 million tons being generated every year. 1
Our first visit to Ayigya-Zongo, the shack settlement just across the road from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology KNUST, brought to light the electronic waste problems prevalent in the community.
Many components of these discarded electronic products from rich countries, like cathode ray tubes from televisions and computer monitors, contain hazardous materials. As no disposal for electronic waste exists, the trash currently piles up outside the small kiosk workshops of local electronic technicians. Thus poisons enter the ground and water.
In recent years Ghana and other countries across Africa have become dumping grounds for e-waste from rich countries. Instead of being properly disposed of or recycled in the western world, the waste is illegally shipped to African countries. With the current issue of global warming in minds of people and governments across the globe, we should remember that we live on the same planet, same world, same universe. Disposing of waste in Africa will not keep the western world safe from depletion. This issue needs to be exposed and dealt with in order to protect the only world we have.
Akinruntan obtained discarded electronic waste materials from the Ayigya community that would have otherwise continued to stay there in trash piles and used them in a series of sculptural works that were exhibited on the KNUST campus. His installations explore the issues of interconnectedness of people across the globe as well as the dangers of pollution. His garbage art objects offer new and surprising insights in the state of your world.
1 Daily Graphic, Ghana, 08/01/2011

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