It sounded like a bad idea: ill-fated at best, pandering at worst. Artist Vik Muniz traveled to his native Brazil to lead an art project using materials pulled from the world’s largest landfill. After meeting the destitute people there who scavenge for recyclable items, he decided to incorporate them into the project both as portrait subjects and fellow artists. The saving grace of Waste Land is that each of these folks – from the teen mother trying to support her three kids to the well-read organizer trying to fight for scavenger rights – clearly had deep dignity and pride before Muniz came along. Working with him on large-scale multimedia versions of their portraits, which are made from the garbage they collect, doesn’t give these beautiful people a sense of self worth. It simply gives them a larger platform on which to express it. This is stunning stuff.