Bas Princen‘s striking photo of Mokattam Ridge, a slum on the outskirts of Cairo, is not a doctored warning against urban pollution. Since the ’50s, the economy of “Garbage City” has revolved around collecting and recycling Cairo’s garbage. The Zabbaleen (Arabic for garbage collectors), a community of Coptic Christians who traditionally disposed of the waste, did so by feeding it to their pigs. Post-swine flu epidemic, that isn’t possible thanks to the state-wide slaughter of over 300,000 pigs.
Learn more in a recent documentary called Garbage Dreams. Peep additional images after the jump.
[via we make money not art]