Trinidad – Places (Session 02)

Below is the second installment of my photo-project on Trinidad and Tobago. This time, my focus searched the boundaries of spaces and non-spaces. I identified non-spaces as marginal or liminal territories of functional spaces, which have been partly or fully abandoned either through forgetting or displacement. As many examples show, such liminal spaces generally become the transitional corridors between the human habitat and wildlife.

Places (2014, Trinidad)

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Squatter’s hut near the Western Main Road, which connects the capital Port of Spain and inland Arima. Altough squatting is illegal in Trinidad, temporary shacks tend to crop up on various pieces of land owned by the government. Average rent is high in Trinidad and since 1962, when Trinidad became and independent republic, increased urbanization left rural and off-road places abandoned.

 

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A domestic goat wanders off a nearby grazing field onto an abandoned basketball court in Buccoo, Tobago. While Buccoo is a frequented tourist destination due to the nearby coral reef, which is among the most well preserved coral reef areas in the Caribbean Sea, the village is struggling during off-season periods, when schools close and locals migrate to either Trinidad, or Scarborough, the capital of Tobago (also a regular destination to island-hopper ocean cruisers of the Caribbean).

 

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The Irons-family’s only cow stares from below a papaya-tree near the Blanchiseuse Road. The narrow freeway cuts through Trinidad’s Northern Range and yields access to quarry and deforestation sites. Uninhabited land in the forest along the road proves to be cheap land for many home seekers but entails sustenance farming.

 

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Another family’s cow grazes near the Western Main Road in Trinidad, where an abandoned Catholic cemetery occupies a portion of the land. Graveyards in Trinidad host “open” graves with simple styles. A lot of abandoned cemeteries can be found in Trinidad as well as in Tobago, a phenomenon symptomatic of the generational divide between pre- and postcolonial cultural and religious affiliations.

 

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A pelican in the center and young seagulls along the rims perch on a fishing boat on the northern coast of Tobago. Fishermen on the twin-island of Trinidad work early in the morning and tend to tourists in the afternoon, in a period which wildlife reoccupies its natural habitat.

 

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Fisher boys watch the sunset near Pigeon Point in Tobago. Since Trinidad and Tobago lie only 10 degrees north of the Equator, the length of days and nights remain balanced throughout the year (12 hours each). Sunset thus arrives before 6 p.m. every and sunrise commences around 6 a.m. Fishermen rest and rise with the sun and center their work around the important transitional periods of the day when sea life is the most active.

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