Neoliberalism and its eff ects on labour: El Tren Blanco and the Argentinian cartoneros


  • Else Vieira Queen Mary College - University of London
  • Amaranta Thompson University of London.


Neoliberalism, Argentina, Cartoneros, El Tren Blanco, Aporias of Informal Labour.


Th is article analyses the fi lm documentary El Tren Blanco that protagonises
and dignifi es the cartoneros − unemployed Argentine workers who, in order to
survive, resort to the informal work of collecting recyclable material from refuse in the streets of the larger cities. It also places into context the visible emergence of the cartoneros as new social actors in 2002, under the aegis of the country’s neoliberal reforms of the 1990s which culminated in the 2001 crisis. Finally, the paper discusses the aporias of informal work, which both inserts and segregates, as well as its self-reproduction.


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Biografia do Autor

Else Vieira, Queen Mary College - University of London

Professora Catedrática de Brazilian and Comparative Latin American Studies no Queen Mary, College da
Universidade de Londres.

Amaranta Thompson, University of London.

Currently an MA candidate in Development Studies at the Institute of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS),
University of London.