OAS/GNT Sustainable Heritage Endorsement Programme

PHOTOVOICE PROMPT #4: This is not the Grenada I once Knew

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

Three white rabbits with pink noses (crouched over on the right side of the sty)

One beige rabbit with black nose/ears and one beige rabbit with grey nose/ears (crouched over on the left side of the sty)

An old pig sty made of cinder blocks and concrete mortar

Gray and black spots on the walls of the former pig sty

A wood ants nest

Rabbit down or feces

Splice of light (peering thru a crack in a cinder block)

A square, concrete structure

Dried leaves and other debris (laying on the floor in front of the five rabbits)

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

I took this picture because I was surprised to see that rabbits were living in a former pigs’ sty. The sight is strange because rabbits used to be raised in cages, but now they have more habitation options, where they can be cared for in concrete structures. With that said, this “Recycled Habitat” photograph is a prime example of this PhotoVoice prompt: “This is not the Grenada I once knew.” It certainly isn’t the same personality.

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

Raising rabbits in a former pig sty is, indeed, an innovative move in regards to local Grenadian farmers’ economic and social standings. For instance, when we do not have what is deemed a proper habitat, we use what we have to lower our agricultural expenses to maximize our profits as rabbit meat is sold for about $13 per pound. This recycled pig sty is also seen as a social alternative of moving backwards (raising rabbits in an old sty), while also moving forward (taking care of rabbits). Even so, this give-and-take approach is associated with the dynamic ebb and flow of both life and culture, of both the social and economic aspects of life, and of both the ups and downs of the merry-go-round and roller-coaster rides that behave in similar ways to life and culture and to the social and economic phases of life. But, of course, the merry-go-round and the roller-coaster rides are simply analogies that are located outside of the farming landscape. To digress a bit, what does the social substitution say about Grenada’s culture? To a certain degree, it asserts that the Grenadian culture is one that is mixed, not rigid. At any rate, the social alternative states that our beliefs are as fluid as water itself. Moreover, the other representations of the “Recycled Habitat” image are the symbols of fertility, shelter, containment, and togetherness. How do these four latter traits play into our cultural persona? Altogether, they echo the ideas that the Grenadian culture is in the throes of producing good and bad as well as indifferent outcomes. That is to say that Grenada is moving forward (surely but slowly) towards financial and social improvements, starting at the local level with the potential for selling organic agriculture in the form of manure that will cut down on the importation of inorganic fertilizers.

PHOTO Title: Recycled Habitat

Photograph Location: Belvidere, St. John’s

Photographer: Iva Williams