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Bricks

Bricks

In the United States, the bricks that are used to build our houses are made in a factory with much though. Machines do the receptive labor of moulding each individual brick. In Ambatomanga, we were able to witness the choreographed routine of brick making by hand that has been practiced in this region for centuries. The refined process starts with raw mud that is mixed then carried up a hill on the head of the artisan to a moulding station. There, wach brick is shaped by throwing clay onto a wood mould (getting splattered all over) and then flattened out before being removed from the mould to dry for two days then baked in a brick kiln. This deep-rooted practice initially feels inefficient, but after participating it felt like true meaningful work instead of automated factory labor. In a world where most things are made industrially, the true human touch of each of these bricks while maintaining near perfection and consistency makes something mundane special.

As someone who strives to find the most efficient way to approach everything, I saw this through a completely different lens and found a new appreciation for non-industrial processes and the human care that does into them.