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OAS/GNT Sustainable Heritage Endorsement Programme

PHOTOVOICE PROMPT #1: THAT’S WE CULTURE

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

A setting of lush green vegetation

Order is seen in the rows of plants

Dedication to manual labor

Intercropping of banana shrubs and other plants

Aged and diseased, or damaged banana leaves

Gentle slope

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

The photograph was taken to highlight that Clozier used to be the Banana King of Grenada due to the community’s historical dependence on banana. Also, banana is, part and parcel, intertwined with the Grenadian agricultural culture.

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

In “The Struggle” photograph, the lush green vegetation evokes the strength and creativity of the Grenadian people, while the order of the banana shrubs and the other plants and the manual labor that is involved connote a sense of added value that is related not only to Clozier’s agricultural success, but also to Grenada’s economic longevity. At the outset, the severe order that is seen in the rows of banana shrubs indicates that Grenada is not willing to allow itself to be vulnerable, even while it continues to accept help from its supporters.

As a result of not exposing its weaknesses to the rest of the world, Grenada is prone to take matters into its own hands by creating the appearances of strict order, which does not necessarily tell the island’s full story. Additionally, the lush vegetation represents a visually appealing agricultural design not only of Clozier, but also of Grenada itself. Whereas the intercropping of different plants represents Grenada’s ability to sustain its diversified population (of people, plants, and the overall landscape), the aged or diseased banana leaves that are left on the banana shrub amongst the new leaves symbolize deterioration and are associated with the balancing of life and death that basically alludes to the cycle of life. More so, the contrast of old, decaying leaves and new leaves promote the permaculture lifestyle that is based on inclusion rather than exclusion, which speaks to Grenada’s ability to accept the good with the bad, where all life-forms are equally relevant to one another. Extending from that latter sense of importance, it as if Grenada is operating with an open heart, welcoming all of its people and its visitors home. In all, the presence of the aged or damaged leaves amidst the new or growing leaves are associated with succession and decomposition of the life cycle as well as they speak to the concept of co-existence or multiculturalism.

PHOTO Title: The Struggle

Photograph Location: Clozier, St. John’s, Grenada, W. I.

Photographer: Joan Charles

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