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Like Playing

by Berenice Adrianzen Zegarra

20:00 Peru 

Peru, 2018. Bruno (11) and Claudio (6) return home after a long day at school. It's lunchtime and Bruno finds nothing to eat, baffled and prey to the insistence of his brother, tries to convince him to go play and find a treasure. Upon leaving, they meet Carlitos (8), a neighbor who decides to accompany them on the adventure. The three children, give free rein to their imagination while collecting, metals, plastics and cartons that sell at the end of the day to take a bowl of soup.


During the past four years of my life, due to my work as an engineer, I have been lucky enough to meet many people, including several hundred Peruvian and foreign waste pickers, both men and women. As part of my Master's thesis I interviewed in depth a little more than 70, I got to know them even more and I also got involved in part of their lives, I wanted that through my research, people get to know them, to listen to them while reading their testimonies and to know how their work contributes every day to this country, as well as the obstacles they had to face to be “seen” and recognized.

In the 80s, many of them began to work in recycling since childhood, one could say that due to the hardship the country was living - economic crisis, political violence, devaluation - this was a "type" situation. However, even today, in 2017, children and young people find a livelihood in recycling due to the lack of opportunities and the need faced by their families. They get involved in this activity, either through relatives, or because near their homes there are centers for buying and selling waste, and this is how the "garbage" of some, becomes the raw material of a self-managed business that allows them to subsist.

A few months ago I was in one of these collection centers, it was almost 4 in the afternoon, and a group of 4 children came in, maybe 5, 7, 8 and at the most 9 years old. Two of them came carrying a heavy metal tube and the others brought empty 3 liter water bottles. They had walked a lot, they were sweaty but happy. One of them, very confident, approached the recycler and asked, "How much are you paying for this?" The recycler smiled at the child's assurance, gave him the price and weighed the materials, then proceeded to pay him. The boy counted the coins and with a tender face said, “could you give me 30 cents more?” I smiled and asked “why do you need 30 cents more?, the boy looked at me and said "not to fight among us, with thirty more we have enough for 4 sopitas (soups)". The recycler smiled and gave them the money.

Since that day I kept thinking about those children, their face of joy for reaching their goal, and how something that apparently can seem a game, is a resource for their survival. This is how "Como Jugando" (Like Playing) is born, a short film about innocence, play, hunger and the human being's ability to constantly create alternatives to survive



BERENICE ADRIANZEN ZEGARRA, attended the International Workshops "Production of field to the executive in the international market" and "Write with the camera, from the script to the staging" of the EICTV, San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba. She has been working as a Producer in her company SONTRAC S.A.C. since 2010. Participating in the production of feature films, short films and television series. She is an engineer Zootecnista and Magister in Social Management.