Garbage in a sense becomes those who process and remove it

Blue Apple

Senior Member
Persian (Iran)
Does "Garbage in a sense becomes those who process and remove it" mean "In a sense those who process and remove garbage themselves become garbage"?

Context:
Her performance-based work Touch Sanitation from 1979–80 involved the artist’s performance and photographic documentation of the “handshake ritual”—that is, her meeting and shaking of hands with every sanitation worker employed by the New York City Department of Sanitation at the time. The ritual comprised both a gesture of appreciation and thanks on the part of the artist, but also the desire to recognize the individuals whose labor is not only devalued but also marginalized as unclean. Ukeles understands this marginalization as being related to cultural notions about garbage as something abject. Garbage in a sense becomes those who process and remove it; it is no longer “ours” as we are clean, and they are not, or we remain clean because they are not (Art and politics by Claudia Mesch).
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, figuratively speaking, that’s what’s meant. People whose work is to process garbage are looked down upon – figuratively, they themselves are considered garbage.
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    I think the metaphor would have been more understandable if, instead of "garbage becomes the people",
    it had been "the people become garbage".
     
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