what’s this?

worker cleaning a sidewalk

cleaning

Before I left on vacation, I tried to visualize a theme that might work where we were going and would be something I could fit in while relaxing and doing vacation activities. So even before we left, I had a pretty clear idea of what I was looking for: a resort worker doing something menial while being passed by tourists who were paying no
attention.

It seemed to me that something that would work into a sort of parable would be the contrast between these hard-working staff of the resort and the tourists. At the place we are staying, there are probably hundreds of people working to make everything smooth and comfy. Except for the bartenders, who are everyone’s friend, all the workers are largely invisible and the majority of tourists seem to ignore them entirely. All the while they do their work with a level of pride and thoroughness that are hard to find in America. They are friendly when you acknowledge them and help you with a smile.

There could be many levels of interpretation for this. The main one is class. Another might be the Western attitude toward the people of the developing world. On the surface, perhaps, it isn’t too deep or profound a photo, but peeling apart the layers reveals more complexity than is at first apparent. There is the level of the worldwide resort chain, providing reliable and clean accommodations; but who knows what their politics is, perhaps we’re supporting the worst sort of oppression without knowing it. Then there are the people who can afford to stay at a place like this. I have a certain amount of inner conflict about this. And finally are the local folks, who are mainly just trying to build a life for themselves and an easy way is to cater to the coddled bourgeois of the more developed world.

In this photo, which I only found on the last morning we were there, a worker is cleaning bird poop off the tile of the walkway, while a couple walk past him.

Advertisements

About Ron Wiecki

Photographer
This entry was posted in photography, travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s