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OAS/GNT Sustainable Heritage Endorsement Programme

PHOTOVOICE PROMPT #2: The Only Things Tourists See

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

Landfill (layers of trash)                           Trees                                       Concrete

Tractors                                                    Mountains                              Galvanize

Iron                                                           Unpaved dirt road                   Security post

Three signs (red and white)                      Shadows                                  White bus

Gate (triangle, rectangle)                           Wire fence                               Glass

Concrete guard posts                                Plastic bags                             Tire marks

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

This photograph was shot because of my consciousness of the inner usage of  non-biodegrable materials or articles in Grenada. Surprisingly enough, the Perseverance Landfill is a place that tourists visit during their tours around the island, so it was befitting,  for me, to include this “Mt. Perseverance” image in displaying the only things that tourist see  in Grenada.

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

At first glance the landfill is symbolic of organized chaos as well as it connotes physical and environmental degradations. On a deeper level, the Perseverance Landfill shows that Grenada is comfortable enough to display not only its scenic beauties such as its sandy beaches, inviting waterfalls, and historic estates, but also that the island takes comfort in exhibiting one of its glaring negatives (the landfill) that lends credence to the concepts of cultural garbage and cultural impersonation; in that Grenada is famous for imitating other cultures, copycatting the next trend even at the expense of itself and its people. That is, Grenada is known for bootlegging a lot of American cultures for convenience or otherwise. In addition, the Perseverance Landfill provides a dual purpose that releases not just            non-biodegradable gases into the environment that are not eco-friendly and people-friendly in terms of the health hazards that these gases create, but also the landfill serves as a form of negative fermentation (unlike the positive results of the wine-making process) that represents prolong confusion, destructive excitement or unwarranted agitation that refer to Grenada’s underlying attributes, traits that are fermenting under the surface of the glitz and glamor of Grenada: the paradise island—or the isle of spice and everything nice, which alludes to the adage that one should not judge a book by its cover. Nonetheless, the question remains: what good can come from a landfill as a tourist attraction or otherwise? Indeed, the good that oozes out of the Perseverance Landfill are the prerequisites for cultural cleansing and cultural transparency, features that are (oftentimes) missing from Grenada’s daily operations on the local, regional, and international scenes that might be obstacles that have impaired, or will weaken, the island’s economic growth.

PHOTO Title: Mt. Perseverance

Photograph Location: Perseverance, St. George’s

Photographer: Joan Charles

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