OAS/GNT Sustainable Heritage Endorsement ProgrammePHOTOVOICE PROMPT #3: The Things Tourists Never See
What do you see here? (Addressed to the whole group)
Red & white checkered sheet Open door
The sheet is hanging on a hedge Wooden door
Bright sunlight Clothes pin
An abandoned building (in the background) Soil
Colors: green, blue, dirty gray, yellow, brown Glimpse of a concrete drain
Croton hedge A pipeline (running horizontally)
Curved landscape Two plantain trees
Bamboo stick (between the two plantain trees) Grass
Why did you take this photo? (Addressed to the photographer)
Since tourists are accustomed to washing and drying their clothes in modern washers and dryers, I chose this alternative, yet traditional, way of drying one’s sheet on a living hedge or fence.
What is really happening here? (Addressed to the whole group—alternatively what does the photograph represent?)
Besides the red and white checkered sheet that is spread out on the colorful croton fence to dry in the hot sun, one of the things that both stands out and hides itself in plain sight is the brown bamboo support that is diagonally positioned between the two plantain trees as if to prop up one of the two trees. This sort of ambiguous imagery evokes a dichotomous approach that can be interpreted as support, on the one hand; while it can induce the need for repairs, on the other hand. Such contradictions suggest that Grenada is being catered to either socially or economically, or even culturally. However, the island might also want to be mindful of its state of decay, because its destiny might be in someone else’s control, or else Grenada can become an empty veneer as the abandoned house in the photo. The other symbols that are embedded in the “Fence Dried Laundry” photograph are: homelessness; the fence as a means of order, guidance, protection, and alternative use; empty hope, and country (style) living. Even so, the pipeline that runs horizontally in the foreground of the picture is indicative of Grenada having access to an unlimited amount of opportunities. In addition, the concrete in the photo’s foreground reveals that some things (like cultures) change over time, while other things (like concrete) will not change as much even over a certain period of time. At any rate, the sheet acts as a sign of confusion and illusion in that the red and white checkered material hanging on the fence looks like a tablecloth lying on an elevated table rather than a sheet laying out on a fence, basking in the sunlight. Through this optical illusion (of a sheet passing off as a tablecloth) the concept of food security comes to mind, because the imaginary table is devoid of food or of any other forms of sustenance, which begs the questions: Does Grenada have enough domestic materials to supply its own needs? Or does Grenada have enough tablecloths and enough food to nourish its people to secure their present and future livelihoods?
PHOTO Title: Fence Dried Laundry
Photograph Location: Morne Lounge, St. Andrew’s, Grenada, W. I.
Photographer: Iva Williams