OAS/GNT Sustainable Heritage Endorsement Programme

PHOTOVOICE PROMPT #6: Grenada's Future

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

A lone stone   –   Wood reflection

Four Digital gadgets    –   Distorted brand name

Four different reflections   –    Fist/green reflection

Black/brown/grey/green   –    Ring on finger reflection

Veranda wall    –   Dasheen (crop)

Finger/fingernails/fist    –   Weeds

Sweater    –   Callaloo leaves

Tough soil    –   Galvanize reflection

Straight line    –   Glimpse of person standing over gadgets

Dirty screens

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

I took this photo to display the fact that digital gadgets are taking over Grenada in every (which) way. As a result of the gadget invasion, people are no longer connecting socially, but digitally. People are losing the art of communication (physically). Also, the “Gadget Invasion” image highlights the fact that Grenada’s social values are changing from one that was traditional to one that is post-modern.

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

Although, in general, some, if not all, conquests are seen as unnecessary and negative, this technology invasion that is captured in the “Gadget Invasion” picture is one that is both necessary and positive for Grenada and its people in the 21 st century and beyond. As an island-nation that anchors itself to traditional values, the hi-tech revolution and newfound skillsets of the Grenadian people are indicative of the loss of tradition at the hands of the digital age. By extension, this technical takeover is meant to accommodate convenience. However, it also calls into question an irritating ambivalence in regards to the ideas of dependence and inconvenience. This well-deserved hesitation reveals that some people over-indulge themselves and become addicted to the gadgets rather than spend time with other people, and because of these excessive excursions time, efforts, resources, and finances can be lost in the process, causing massive inconveniences to some, if not all, Grenadians. On the positive side, by accepting the use of digital technology, Grenada is bridging the gap between the ancient and the modern worlds, but also the island is appreciative of the research potential, the career development, the online education, and the ease of access to information that Grenadians would not have had access to prior to the technological invasion. Even more substantial, to Grenada and its people, are the benefits of telecommuting and global online business transactions that are made possible by technology. For instance, both strength and firmness are symbolic of the reflections of a closed fist and an open hand that are seen on two of the tablets’ screens. These two digital reproductions imply that Grenada is, on the one hand, suspicious of the digital world; while, on the other hand, the island-nation is grateful for the various opportunities that the technical infiltration has brought to the Grenadian shorelines. Another symbolism that is suggestive of the technical revolution is the lone stone lying on the tough, solid soil that represents not only defense (against the digital devices), but also violence (as a consequence of technology: in the form of online bullying and online crimes). Still yet, a counterbalance of the gadget invasion is the organic energy of the dasheen and callaloo crops that serve as dynamic forms of purification against the mechanical nature of the digital devices. The four reflections (of pieces of wood; three fingers with a ring on the ring finger; the closed fist and sweater, and the one with the galvanize) express the idea of the new containing the old, which serve as a movement or signal from the old to the new. Besides, these four digital tablets and their mirror images serve as the mechanical crystal balls of the future.

PHOTO Title: Gadgets Invasion

Photograph Location: Clozier, St. John’s

Photographer: Amellia Williams