I live in a place where the people struggle to find their own identity between what the past and present dominant cultures tell them they should be. I live in a place where people are commodities, and it has been that way for centuries. Here, there is a new-age slavery "bend over, touch your toes, show your teeth, lift her titties, exam his balls- damn near sounds like a (dancehall) song, but it's slavery at it's peak"*.
I live in a place where women are the hardest working and least respected. Where sexual harrassment is so ingrained in the culture that most people don't even understand the reason for or the consequences of their words and actions. I live in a place where sexuality, for girls, often is not discovered but rather forced on them.
I live in a place that is not safe for women.
I live in a beautiful place, palm trees and sea. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful people- bodies, mind and soul. Vibrancy and pulse trying to break through the sound of the pre-recorded "caribbean" music playing for tourists coming off ships and planes to discover this exotic land where they have "no problems". I liven a place that those tourists will not see, because they don't hear my girls singing so loud and on a key all their own,because they don't see the tears streaming from Aunt P's eyes as she laughs at every situation because "so it go".
I live in place where the people are commodities, take a picture of them, talk to them like they are a facinating part of this "exotic" culture, try to convert them to your religion, let them play with your "good" hair, but don't listen to their journey and absolutely don't try to see yourself in them because that would be too real. Then you might have to feel something, do something...
I live in this place. Where do you live?
*song lyrics taken from Sunni Patterson's "We Made It".