Antoine Repessé: Portraits of Waste Through the Eyes of a Photographer

I’ve often wondered what all my rubbish would look like if I could see it all laid out in front of me. Though I am uber conscious about throwing things in the landfill, and avoid packaging as much as I can, I am far from the girl who can store her waste in a jar!

But perhaps if we couldn’t hide from the waste we produced, and had to live surrounded by it instead, we could see just how much we still need to cut down on.

This is something which has been beautifully presented by Lille-based photographer Antoine Repessé  in his latest project; #365 Unpacked. In 2011, Repessé stopped throwing away his recyclable rubbish and instead began storing it inside his home for this fascinating photography project. To date he has 70m3 of waste stored! 

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Over the last four years, Repessé’s waste includes 1,600 milk bottles, 4,800 toilet rolls, and 800 kg of newspapers, of which he has divided categorically into types for #365 Unpacked.

In an interview with Feature Shoot he explained: “I wanted to give an aesthetic dimension to my work. The choice of sorting the garbage gives a graphic effect. I tried to produce a perfect picture which evokes something disturbing.

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These photos are a little comical and quirky at first glance, but hold a controversial and memorable message: we need to face up to the waste we are creating. As one of my favorite quotes says “When we throw things away, we must realise that ‘away’ does not exist”.

#365 Unpacked is a stark reminder that what we buy and throw away is our responsibility, and there will come a time when a hole in the ground is no longer a sustainable (or even physically possible) option to storing waste.

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I hope my project can inspire change,” said Repessé in his interview, “We’re often told about the quantity of waste we produce, but I think the impact of a picture can be more powerful than a ton of words.

You can follow the project on the Repessé Facebook page.

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3 thoughts on “Antoine Repessé: Portraits of Waste Through the Eyes of a Photographer”

  1. It is true the things that a picture can make us see!! I’ve been thinking about taking a picture each day of that day’s rubbish to keep myself accountable and not handily ‘forget’ about the waste I’m making! Glad I saw this today 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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