David Fedele: E-Wasteland

A slum of Ghana’s capital city, Accra, Agbogbloshie is home to some 40,000 people, mostly migrants from rural areas, and many eke out a living by breaking down and burning e-waste for raw materials that can be re-sold. The slum is a byproduct of what filmmaker David Fedele calls the western world’s “obscene obsession … with consuming, discarding, then consuming again.” Once the waste is broken down, raw materials are often exported back to the industrial world, “leaving behind illness and sickness, pollution, and environmental destruction.” E-waste includes many toxic materials such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury. With no health or environmental protections in the slum, the toxins contaminate the air, water, and the food consumed in the slum.

“I wanted to visually present a particular environment, attempt to show it as truthfully as possible, and give people the responsibility to think about the issues themselves,” filmmaker David Fedele told Jeremy Hance in an interview in 2012. “I believe that images can be far more powerful than words, and can have a much bigger impact and remain in your memory longer.”


Jeremy Hance: High-tech hell: new documentary brings Africa’s e-waste slum to life. On: 30 April 2012.
URL >> 12 October 2020.


“I guess I was initially drawn to making documentary films through a love of traveling and exploring different cultures, and an insatiable curiosity.”, said David Fedele in an interview with Beau Clark in 2014. “The thing that I am learning with making social and human rights documentaries, is that you can never predict the impact that films such as this can have. When you make a film and release it into the world, it then really takes on a life of its own, and you must be open to all of the possibilities.”

FILMOGRAPHY (all directed, edited, and produced by David Fedele)

2018 | Revenir (84 min) in co-operation with Kumut Imesh
2014 | The Land Between (78 min)
2012 | E-Wasteland (20 min)
2011 | Bigpela Bagarap (43 min)
2010 | PNG Style (88 min)


1977 |, born


David Fedele: Website
David Fedele: Vimeo
Beau Clark: Interview with David Fedele on his film on Sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco. On: 22 February 2014.
URL >> 15 October 2020