Hills at Tarouba, now gone. In their place stands the incomplete "Brian Lara" stadium. 4x5 large format Kodak E100VS film, 2005.


Sugarcane Trails

There are dozens of miles of tracks through Trinidad's sugarcane fields. Once bustling thoroughfares for tractors and harvesters, these trails now offer a refuge away from the noise of everyday life. Here, the only sound is the wind moving through the grass.

Sugarcane trails have garnered a bad reputation in Trinidad. Many trails have been (are) used for nefarious activities: criminals take victims to secluded trails to assault them; murdered adults and children are dumped along trails; criminals use them to escape from the police; people use them to dump their old stoves and refrigerators; stray animals go there to die; trails are home to our venomous snakes and to our indigenous scorpion. Very few people would place any aesthetic value on these mud-tracks interlacing their way through hundreds of hectares of sugarcane and bush. Indeed, few people would mourn their passing as canefields are cleared for shopping centres and twenty-first century slum housing. In Tuscany, Italy a similar topography exists with undulating hills of multihued crops. It's funny how attitudes differ on similar subjects amongst different cultures. To a Trinidadian, the suggestion that a canefield may be a thing of beauty would be construed as an oxymoron. To a Tuscan, their agricultural landscape patterns are a source of great pride. Their billion dollar tourist industry catering to travellers who come to see a landscape as mundane as a wheat-field is, well, testament to the fact that maybe they're on to something. Recognizing that our government's development policy is bent on eradicating all chlorophyll-containing life, Trinidad Dreamscape will attempt to capture some of our canefields before they all disappear. Two weeks after taking the title shot at Tarouba, the hills were cut down.

Have a look at those canefields the next time you zoom down the highway between Couva and San Fernando, and see them for the first time.

All photographs taken with Fujichrome Velvia and Ilford FP4+ films.

- October 2006.


Trail Trail Trail Trail
Trail Trail Trail Trail
Trail Trail Trail Trail
Trail last cane to the horizon Burned cane
Sunset and tree Night on Arrows Sunset and tree Night on Arrows

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