Image: camino filmverleih
The documentary film “welcome to sodom” tells the story of life in the fires of the agbogbloshie electric waste dump
The ash that covers the ground of agbogbloshie looks like powdery white snow. The “sodom” named district of the ghanaian capital accra, which has been transformed from a swampy area into one of the world’s coarsest electromulp dumping grounds.
The soft dust, which is scattered over 1.600 hectares of land, is the ash of 250,000 tons of electronic.000 tons of e-waste that end up here every year and are recycled in open fires by local residents “recycled” . The nearly 6.000 residents of agbogbloshie are the gold shavers who make their living from the ashes of the digital revolution. A young boy uses a homemade electromagnet to suck the last particles of metal out of the ground.
The sack of raw metal he scrapes together in one day in sodom is sold to one of the countless scrap dealers. The price per kilo is not determined by the trader himself, but by the new york mercantile exchange, whose index is checked via the smartphone before each sale. He makes the tiny profit he has left with his obviously warped scales. The boy knows what to do with it, but has to be satisfied with the few cedi he gets for the metal he delivers.
Welcome to sodom – your smartphone is already here
image: camino filmverleih
The raw material itself, after being separated from the rest of the scrap in the sodom fire, goes back to europe and the united states. From there it comes back to agbogbloshie as new scrap – mostly illegally.
A recycling circuit that filters the gauze on african soil and the poison in the bodies of african workers. What happens on one side of the globe “digital revolution” gets the name of a place god destroyed in a rain of fire and brimstone on the other.
For the people who work and die in agbogbloshie, it seems to take a mythological conceptual world to explain how technological progress on the other side of the world can turn a fertile moorland into a perpetually burning purgatory whose columns of smoke seem to cover the sky forever.