OAS/GNT Sustainable Heritage Endorsement ProgrammePHOTOVOICE PROMPT #4: This is not the Grenada I once Knew
What do you see here? (Addressed to the whole group)
A man wearing blue jeans Design patterns Vine on fence
Two pairs of underwear Moss on support walls Half-nakedness
Unrepaired road Metal (water) pipe A slight incline
A man in motion (walking) Roadside shrubs/grass A bare back
A pair of black sneakers Drain with green grass A smooth body
Why did you take this photo? (Addressed to the photographer)
Our young men seem to be suffering from dementia. Why? Simply because most of them have forgotten where their waistlines are. The pants waist which was designed to be on the human’s waist is now on his thighs, and, in some cases, his knees. This is definitely not the Grenada I once knew. We used to behave like gentlemen and ladies in the ways in which we dressed and spoke, but today we clothe ourselves in whatever style that suits our fancies and we call each other “dog” and “horse”, until we start acting as animals, culturally, financially, or otherwise.
What is really happening here? (Addressed to the whole group—alternatively what does the photograph represent?)
“The Fall of the Waistline” picture is emblematic of a new form of self-expression amongst young men in Grenada and worldwide that sheds the old ways of dressing appropriately in lieu of experiencing a bolder, new world image of inappropriate attire. To a certain extent, the excessive exposure of one’s undergarment(s) in this allegedly new encounter is representative a dog with too much bark, and too little bite. That is to say that too much bark speaks to the excessive public display of private matters, while too little bite evokes the idea that not much thought is given to dressing properly nowadays. Even so, this over-exposure of the private parts of the body suggests vulnerability in regards to our “copycat-ism” mentality, especially in terms of how Grenadians, in general, allow themselves to fall prey to any and every cultural experience that presents itself without first understanding the merits of the said influence. Case in point, the fall of the waistline style had originated in U.S. prisons by certain prisoners to indicate or to send messages to other prisoners that the wearers of fall of the waistline pants were ready for anal penetration. Somehow, this unsuitable style seeped out of the American prison system and into the streets of the global world. Unfortunately, this over-exposed trend is indicative of the effects of globalization at its worst. Yet today, young men in Grenada and around the world take pride in wearing their pants, jeans, and trousers half-way down their thighs or near their knees in solidarity or camaraderie with one another. To a large extent, young men nowadays used the fall of the waistline as an hour glass experience, whereby the old traditional dress codes are flipped upside-down as the (old) sand decreases, whereas the bottom section is filled up with new sand, which is similar to turning a spinning top on its head, because, sooner rather than later, the top will tip over and crash to the floor in the same way that this new trend is turning culture upside-down as it tilts over and topples to the ground. It is as if the so-called new and over-exposed dress code is a riches-to-rags achievement—an inverted rags-to-riches accomplishment. It is as if this unbefitting attire equates to social and economic strength. Additionally, the half-nakedness (of no shirt coupled with the sight of two pairs of underwear and a pair of jeans) implies that Grenada has lots of grounds to cover to address and improve its peoples’ standard of living. And finally, the uphill road suggests that Grenada has a long way to go in the cultural reeducation of its young people even as they gravitate to the seduction of digital gadgets.
PHOTO Title: The Fall of the Waistline
Photograph Location: Clozier, St. John’s
Photographer: Horace George