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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Streets of Mumbai
India and Beyond

Resources that demonstrate the relevance and widespread nature of the issues presented in Behind the Beautiful Forevers, from India and beyond.

Relevant Documentaries:

Waste Land

Filmed over nearly three years, Waste Land follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world's largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.

Garbage Dreams

Filmed over four years, Garbage Dreams follows three teenage boys born into the Zaballeen's trash trade: 17-year-old Adham, 16-year-old Osama, and 18-year-old Nabil. Laila, a community activist who also teaches the boys at their neighborhood Recycling School, guides the boys as they transition into adulthood at a time when the Zaballeen community is at a crossroads.

Relevant Articles:

"Two Classes, Divided by 'I Do'"

This recent NY Times article by Jason DeParle examines the growing income gap in the United States and its effect on marriage.

"Lethal Consumption"

In Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo writes about how during the monsoon season, the denizens of Annawadi wallow in buffalo excrement while the wealthy folks spend their time engaged in romance and shopping.  I am interested in how what goes on "In Front of the Beautiful Forevers"  (i.e. how people with means in a globalized capital-based economic order behave) affects the physical and psychological well-being of those on the other side of the metaphorical sign (i.e. the impoverished underclass).  I wrote the essay "Lethal Consumption" with my colleagues a decade ago to explore the psychological underpinnings of humankind's insatiable desire for money and stuff.

This article, co-authored by Skidmore professor Sheldon Solomon, investigates the psychological underpinnings of conspicuous consumption.  What is that we desire when we consume beyond basic needs?  And does it make us happy...or terrified?"