It is sweeter to wander with the wretched and outcasts than to sit crowned with roses at the banquets of the rich
Elisee Reclus

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Relative work

Akhbar Ali, Mumbai

I work with dyestuff. I work hard. I earn 50 to 60 rupees a day. My work is tiring. I have no choice, so I work here. To go back to my village I need money which I don't have. So I'm obliged to stay here. Only I know the problems I have sitting in the sun the whole day, then going home, not eating at normal times. What should I do? I'm worn out, totally worn out. I'm unhappy.

Uttam Siram Bhalera, Mumbai

I've worked at the harbour since childhood helping with the catch. I earn 200 to 400 rupees. I send the money home and keep a little for myself. I eat, drink and enjoy my life. It's my only job. I don't work anywhere else. To amuse myself I go to the cinema with my friends. Then I come back. I sleep next to a restaurant called Ram Bharose. Then I go to the cinema again. Once I saw a really first-class film: The Guns of Navarone. The film was very good. What is life? Watching films, having fun with friends and sleeping next to the restaurant, getting up the next day, drinking tea and doing your work again.

Rubio, Mexico City

They call me Rubio. I'm a professional thief. I've been making a living like this for more than ten years. But I stick to my method of grabbing people by the neck and asking them for their money. I don't like the more violent methods. I like to grab them by the neck and like in therapy tell them to hand over their money.

SuperBarrio Gomez, Mexico City

I, the SuperBarrio Gomez, real phantom and everyday hero by profession have a message for the world from the city of wounds and scars, the city of the dead and the conquerors of the demons and charlatans and of all the street vendors in the city of disguises and masks. This city expands and collapses, it fights to live and survive day by day. What's the good of knowing that we live in the world's biggest city? What's the good in starting each day at 5am? With Tamales and Atol and then starting a ten-hour working day when life is so short? I, SuperBarrio Gomez am telling the world that the absurd is the cultural heritage of all mankind.

People and their words from the film Megacities - Michael Glawogger (1998)

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