My work interrogate the environmental hazards associated with information technology, specifically in a Congolese context. As information technology advances and proliferates across the globe, the world becomes all the more dependent on African mining industries – such as gold, cobalt, and coltan – to engineer and power its computers and smartphones. These mines are not only detrimental to the environment, but pose serious health risks to labourers and their families.
At the same time that Africa fuels the development of contemporary technology, it also bears the brunt of its waste. Much of the West’s e-waste is exported to dumping zones across the continent. Outdated and discarded technological goods are collected in vast scrap yards, exposing hazardous substances and toxic pollutants to the people who work in and live around the landfills.
Rather than approaching these man-made environmental disasters from a purely critical lens, my work finds opportunities for growth. I re-appropriate discarded computer parts, imagining a world in which e-waste is refurbished and recycled rather than dumped. By using found materials, I highlight the resilience of African people, who have found a myriad of ways to make use of limited resources. My sculptures depict figures who, in the midst of environmental, social, and political crisis, have created radical new approaches to reinvention and change.