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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)

White, grey, and black monkey                Wire mesh           Squared mesh

Baby bottle with red juice                         Pink columns       Tree branch

Green baby bottle top                               Rope                     Black shade

Mosaic walls (side & background)           Nails                     Yellow/blue

Brown & beige                                             Stick                     Brown hand

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

I took the picture not just to satisfy the PhotoVoice prompt: “This is not the Grenada I once knew”, but I also captured the scene in “Since When Animals Fed That Way?”, because I had an issue with the way in which the monkey was being fed with juice in a baby’s bottle. This monkey is not in its typical habitat—it is now raised as a domesticated animal.

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

The witnessing of something that seems to be fairly new in practice is not always the case in point. Feeding a monkey liquid through a wire-meshed cage by way of a baby bottle lends itself to a severely limited perspective or experience, but one that has been around for a while. How long? The answer is currently unknown. In the interpretation of culture and life, it is almost, always, best to develop a healthy suspicion about the implications of culture in general and culture in particular. So what suggestions does the view of the domesticated monkey have for Grenada? From our PhotoVoice discussions, we explored several associations such as support in regards to the monkey leaning against the wire mesh door as it was being feed by an extended hand from outside its cage. The monkey represents Grenada as if it is still in its infant stage, still being bottle-fed, and cooped up in a small cage like a young hen. On the contrary, Grenada was once a mature being, who was able to feed and take care of itself. We spoke of the expressions of both the line of care in feeding the monkey versus a sense of cruelty in locking up the monkey in a cage rather than releasing the animal back into the wildlife region—its natural habitat. By and large, that sense of entitlement to do as one so desires with another individual’s life conveys the superiority-inferiority complex that signals that the Grenadian culture is operating from a place of inequity that cannot be rectified until balance is restored in freeing the monkey from the restrictions of its distorted sense of interdependency, to move the island-nation beyond certain barriers to elevate its financial gains without draining someone else’s resources. Grenada needs that new life to stand on its own two feet, as an independent individual, so that, one day, it will not be the animal that does not bite the hand that once fed him, while the island learns not to stretch its heart where its hands cannot reach.

PHOTO Title: Since When Animals Fed That Way?

Photograph Location: Cabier, St. Andrew’s

Photographer: Iva Williams

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