Situated inside Parade Gardens, this empty warehouse has been a place of killing and rapes; and colourful as it is today, police must still hold a peacekeeping presence on a nearby corner. It’s spaces like it that Matthew McCarthy AKA Eyedealist is fascinated with transforming and seeing the impact. An abandoned lot in Cross Roads home to his biggest mural is now under development, on its way to becoming a shopping plaza. Not that he’s taking credit, just a smile at the thought of how his working might have changed how people view their surroundings and possibilities in life. Continue reading
All I’ve ever wanted in life is to grow up to be a real man, or at least die trying. But no, the universe has had this way of punishing me all through my childhood. Better at book work than football; more polite than strong; more useful in the kitchen than in the workshop; and sometimes I even cry.
“Men don’t cry,” He believes. Not even six year olds on their first day of school.
Hyper-masculinity is the way of the Jamaican man. The pungent overbearing mist of machismo threatening to soak up all your sun and watch while your individuality withers away. There is no resisting, you must conform. Else, as the unwritten rule would have it, your father, brother, uncle, or any male of your acquaintance for that matter, must ensure you do. There isn’t much time; it must be done quickly to save the young man in training from irreversible damage. You can hear the time ticking away; tick-tock-tick-tock-tick.
If you’ve never seen HBO’s The Wire, make it your next download and take a peek at its episode-by-episode uncovering of epic corruption in a shitty city, Baltimore. It may make you squint your eye and nod your head, “I’ve been to that place.”
Not that most other cities in the world could be jealous at the filth seeping downwards from political offices to the street corners. But then we’re in Kingston, and we don’t even have our own show. It’s no secret we could have several seasons worth more corruption in us – and then along comes a fictional portrayal of our city as nasty, as true to life as Marlon James’ Brief History of Seven Killings, which yesterday won the 2015 Man Booker Prize, and to which HBO already bought the TV option for.
Sure there’s more than a few ifs remaining before HBO does decide to make the show. We’re not begging – just that we’re here, ready to work as extras, in the hot sun, for lukewarm box food.
Photographer and friend of FIRST, Varun Baker, also happens to be a mobile app developer. And Varun smokes a little weed. Formerly of /slashroots his current project Ganjagram aims to one day connect buyers with growers of Jamaica’s highest grades.
Of all the apps to make, why this?
For most people there’s a grey area around Ganja and the Law in Jamaica right now. I did this because I spotted the opportunity and thought we need this. I think many people in Jamaica are getting caught up in all the things the government is not doing for Ganja in terms of communicating information. I see it as an opportunity to do it myself and the result was this app on Ganja and the Law in Jamaica by Ganjagram. It’s just like a free handy guide you can fit in your pocket.