Friday, December 26, 2008

shoes for industry

The Abassa Alakoro Market in Lagos, Nigeria. If Max Weber was right that "the 'city' is a market place," then Lagos is the absolute definition of a city--and the informal economy is what made it that way.

These shoe merchants were selling in the open air before they seized this space underneath the Eko Bridge on Lagos Island. "Nobody was coming to this place before we came," says Chuzzy Gabriel, vice president of the market association. "We are the people who made this place like it is."

Monday, December 15, 2008

no room at the dump

A group of garbage pickers in Msunduzi, South Africa (about 45 minutes from Durban) marched on City Hall today to demand that the government let them do their recycling work without harassment. The Witness details the dump pickers' charges that they have been beaten and harassed simply for going through the garbage to find material they can sell.

Ntombi Luthili, who supports a family of 17 from her recycling work at the local garbage dump, had this to say to public officials: "If they prevent us from going to the site what kind of Christmas do they want us to celebrate without money? How are we going to send our children back to school next year? They are rich and they can afford (what they need), so they should allow us to make a living.".