Trash Dwellers

Xenoangel, Europe • Digital Islet

Trash Dwellers is a transmedia storytelling project set in the fluid wilds of the world’s oceanic garbage patches where strange new communities are forming. It is a fluid world-building project with a multi-bodied structure inspired by modular organisms (such as the Portuguese man o’war, found in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans). It is a world set in a fantasy trash vortex. The project uses the language of sci-fi and fiction to paint a picture of a new archaic society of Dwellers in an ecosphere of junk.

The story follows a distant community after the end of the Anthropocene: the descendants of the future multi-species refugees of a global water crisis who survive or thrive in a landscape of cultural and physical debris. The history and relationship between humanity and environment has heavily influenced the Trash Dwellers’ desire for survival. By creating new narratives based on care for human and nonhuman life, this community is finding hope.

Trash Dwellers is influenced by the oceanic multiplicities of Hydro-Feminism and the hopeful optimism found in Solar Punk literature. It is a dive through an oceanic gyre of rubbish and scrap in search of the divine in the detritus, pulling at the narrative threads of culture and socioecology with grungy gloved hands.