Last night, I watched the documentary Waste Land (2010). It chronicles Vik Muniz's trip to Rio de Janeiro's Jardim Gramacho and the pickers he meets there. A modern artist, Muniz photographs some of the people and then recreates the images out of garbage, creating a powerful effect - see for yourself:
The pickers were so inspiring. Their zeal for life and their optimism was overwhelming; despite living in such filth and poverty, they are proud, strong people. Their attitudes really put things in perspective for me.
Learn more about Vik Muniz and see more of his artwork at his website: http://www.vikmuniz.net/