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Photographer Stores Waste for Four Years to Make a Powerful Point

©Antoine-Repesse-#365, Unpacked (8)

In 2011, Lille-based photographer Antoine Repessé stopped throwing away his recyclable rubbish and began to store it inside his home. Over a four year period, he accumulated around 70m3 of waste that would be used to demonstrate a harrowing point in his latest project, #365 Unpacked.

Repessé’s litter amounted to 1,600 milk bottles, 4,800 toilet rolls, and 800 kg of newspapers, which for the purpose of his project he divided categorically into types. “I wanted to give an aesthetic dimension to my work,” he explains, “The choice of sorting the garbage gives a graphic effect. I tried to produce a perfect picture which evokes something disturbing.”

In these thoughtfully choreographed images we are confronted with the shocking reality of something we’d rather choose to ignore. #365 Unpacked foreshadows what might happen if we continue to evade our mounting litter problem; the nasty consequences of consumerist society. Along with the piles of unwelcome rubbish, Repessé brings the accompanying dread, guilt, and anxiety crawling out into the open.

“I hope my project can inspire change,” remarks Repesse, “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.”

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All images © Antoine Repessé / Sony World Photography Awards

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