Noud Sleumer


The Transboundary Loophole

Only 20 percent of global e-waste is properly recycled or disposed of, with the remaining 80 percent becoming part of an illegal international network of trade. Dealers take advantage of a loophole in the definition of junk by labelling e-waste as secondhand goods to make global exports possible.

Problematic rubbish is removed from one country and discarded in another. E-waste dumping sites exist within a cycle of exploitation and pollution, but the import of e-waste also creates new industries and opportunities. This informal system produces tangible infrastructures of jobs, goods and services.

Using satellite images, Sleumer creates an open atlas of independent E-waste sites. Site-specific narratives are represented by symbolic objects printed on a series of postcards, linking an illicit global market to its localised impacts.

Satellite Images Supported by
India: Map data: Google Earth
Ghana, Maldives: Map data: Google, DigitalGlobe
Kenya, Nigeria: Map data: Google, CNES / Airbus
China, Pakistan Philippines: Map data: Google, Maxar Technologies

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Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven