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OAS/GNT Sustainable Heritage Endorsement Programme

PHOTOVOICE PROMPT #5: Lost & Found

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

A donkey    –    Shadow

A girl riding the donkey     –    Sky/clouds

Stable     –    Stones

Gaunt tree     –    Pieces of wood

Happiness     –    Fallen leaves

Glimpse of the     –    Atlantic Ocean Sunlight

Saddle     –    Galvanized roof

Patterns     –    Multiple colors

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

This picture was captured to show the cultural restoration of the use of donkeys as a means of transportation and assistance with organic farming.

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

With the use of the donkey as a mode of transportation in the 21 st century, the Grenadian culture has turned to the past in order to utilize what was once a typical form of transport back in the old days. This cultural backflip suggests that Grenada is trying to escape from its daily routine, because it does not fit in with its peers. Choosing one option (the donkey) over another (the modern vehicle) implies that Grenada is not afraid to view certain issues from different (or multiple) perspectives in order to explore other possibilities. Moreover, riding a donkey in today’s fast-paced world is synonymous with both the ability to create and recreate, as in creating (an alternative) and recreating (something new from something old). Even so, returning to the past illustrates that even while Grenada is entangled in the age of instant gratification, the island-nation is still able to accept and appreciate traditional values, even as it decides to go against the cultural norms of the postmodern era. Choosing to ride donkeys in 2015 is also symbolic of returning to one’s childhood to integrate certain beliefs into one’s adult life, especially when one is at odds with the present ways of life. On the other hand, retreating to the past suggests that Grenada is not in control of its current livelihood, which infers that the island-nation is following other peoples’ rules or regulations. Reaching back to the past also means that Grenada is in control of its actions, which is to say that the island is capable of making its own decisions. More so, going back to the old days means that opportunities for expansion are limited. To some degree, reverting to the use of donkeys as means of transportation in 2015 is somewhat beneficial to some, if not all, farmers who need to be transported to remote farmlands, but riding donkeys on main roads can wreak havoc for drivers of modern vehicles. Riding a donkey in this day and age, then, expresses the need for Grenada to slow down and re-strategize as well as it conveys the message that Grenada has the freedom to choose the courses upon which to embark. Furthermore, the donkey is a metaphoric bridge between the past and the present, a link that represents adaptability. Other symbolic representations that are seen in the “Four-Legged Car” photograph are as follows: relaxation; shelter; recreation (summer fun); the sunlight penetration (which provides warmth that is energizing or life-giving); patterns (that entails creativity); a telescopic view; a sense of peace and confidence (or self-expression of a happy child riding a donkey); with a sense of being focused (which is emblematic of living in the moment), amidst a variety of colors that is symbolic of Grenada’s multi-dimensional culture, one that voices the concept of multiplicities that is indicative of cultural flexibility.

PHOTO Title: Four-Legged Car

Photograph Location: Cabier, St. Andrew’s

Photographer: Amellia Williams

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