OAS/GNT Sustainable Heritage Endorsement Programme

PHOTOVOICE PROMPT #4: This is not the Grenada I once Knew

What do you see here? (Addressed to the whole group)

Gray wall              Coconut tree

Bagasse                Clouds

Galvanize             Blue sky

Building                Bougainvillea

Bus                          Railing

Red roof

Why did you take this photo? (Addressed to the photographer)

Initially, I thought that this bagasse was disgusting. But, then, I thought that farmers should be allowed to use the bagasse as composting and mulching to give back to the land. After all, organic fertilizer is better for the soil as opposed to artificial stimulants. Without a doubt,  this bagasse heap is not a nice image. However, it is the first thing that tourists and local visitors see when they stopover at the River Antoine Estate in St. Patrick’s, Grenada. Certainly, the bagasse is a social turn-off. Even more, it is not being used in an economically sound way to lessen the eyesore effect and improve the estate’s financial standing by selling the bagasse to local farmers (as I had mentioned in the second sentence of this response),  which is similar to killing two birds with one stone.

What is really happening here? (Addressed to the whole group—alternatively what does the photograph represent?)

At first blush, the bagasse represents an ongoing health hazard due, in part, to the amount of bio-gas that it emits into the air on a daily basis. To a large extent, it seems counterproductive to keep the bagasse on the River Antoine Estate.  But, what is more telling is that this agricultural (or by-product) waste is the first snapshot that greets visitors (whether they are local, regional, or international) at the beginning of their respective tours. What does this unproductive presentation reveal about the estate itself? And what statements does the bagasse make about Grenada as a whole? Could it be that both the estate and Grenada are willing to risk their positive characteristics by disclosing their negative features alongside their good traits as a form of keeping it real to present a more balanced or realistic image? Or is this their collective way of adhering to the old saying, “Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad?” Taking the good with the bad is also reflective of “Telling it as it is”, which is an adage that is rooted deep within a sense of perfect reality.  That is to say that the combination of exhibiting the bad with the good is synonymous with the overemphasis of self-expressions without regards for any consequences that may follow. Consider for a minute that meaning resides everywhere in the same way that culture exists everywhere. With those two ever-present images in your mind, take a look at the sharp contrast that is evident in the decay of the rotting bagasse in the forefront of the “Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness” photograph that is severely counterbalanced with a supply of fresh oxygen from a line of trees in the background. Indeed, this contrast is symbolic not merely of duality or co-existence, but also of polluted air versus unpolluted air qualities, environmental issues that can produce adverse reactions in the future for all parties involved (in terms of locally, regionally, or internationally) if they are not addressed in the present.

PHOTO Title: Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness

Photograph Location: River Antoine Estate, St. Patrick’s

Photographer: Iva Williams