OAS/GNT Sustainable Heritage Endorsement ProgrammePHOTOVOICE PROMPT #1: THAT’S WE CULTURE
What do you see here? (Addressed to the whole group)
A river without people
A large boulder
A sprouting device
Long bamboo logs
Pieces of rocks
Why did you take this photo? (Addressed to the photographer)
I shot the photograph to display the conventional use of natural resources without modern or post-modern amenities. As well as I wanted to capture the alternative (or traditional) use of our ordinary resources such as the river (for washing clothes) and the bamboo logs (for drying clothes) instead of the usual river stones.
What is really happening here? (Addressed to the whole group—alternatively what does the photograph represent?)
The act of washing in a river represents both purification (the cleansing of clothes) and pollution (the contamination of water). In addition, water basically represents the source of life itself and rivers provide sustenance such as fish and other catches. And because Grenada is neither pure nor virtuous, as is highlighted in the “Low-Tech Laundry” photo, its polluted rivers reveal that Grenada is not afraid of spoiling its own water supply, which means that the island has, more than likely, taken on more that it can handle concerning keeping its rivers clean. In other words, Grenada is unafraid for (what appears to be) the wrong reasons. But what can those reasons be? Shouldn’t the island be cautious about the contamination of its natural water sources? In short, the various forms of river pollution are symbolic of Grenada’s attitudes, its liabilities, and its flaws. Unfortunately, these problems can definitely affect Grenada not just locally, but also regionally and internationally in terms of its cultural and socio-economic exchanges. In contrast, river washing represents an economical (or traditional) alternative that uses rivers as washing machines and bamboo logs or big stones as dryers. Also, the use of the river as a laundromat, then, creates communal niches or serves as community hotspots where people socialize with one another.
PHOTO Title: Low-Tech Laundry
Photograph Location: Clozier, St. John’s, Grenada, W. I.
Photographer: Joan Charles