With the rising popularity of Instagram and TikTok in Jamaica, we have an opportunity to find deep and emotional stories. A photo reminds us of the power to do infinitely more than just capture a frame. It can transport us to a point in time or garner emotions. A photo not only demonstrate a certain important event or occasion but represent a great example of storytelling in photography.
Jamaica provides a rich landscape for a photographer to reflect its culture, history, and people.
There is no doubt that capturing images in the moment can produce direct, truthful, and bold images that tell the stories for those who have no voice, or for those willing to be vulnerable to the camera.
At all times, we have people seeing through the lens and expecting to see the truth or reflection of their reality. Most people immediately understand an image. Jamaicans are quick to provide an interpretation of that image.
In the simplest of terms, a great photo must communicate some emotions to the viewer. There are cases where we want to tell complex stories with pictures, but it becomes harder to fit all the story elements into one frame. In an incredibly unique place like Jamaica, finding a photo that frankly speaks without words can be a challenge.
The key to an interesting photo is variety. Photos work best when they have more than one storytelling element. A great photo captures the essence of “the story”. It focuses on the photo and begs a second glance.
In this post, we showcase 10 powerful, touching, and emotional photos taken in Jamaica that do not just display a snapshot in time but also tell stories of ordinary life.
1. Locomotive in Jamaica On Standby
After Canada’s Champlain and St Lawrence Railway from 1836, Jamaica Railways was completed in 1845 and became the second British colony to receive a railway system. Construction did not begin until several decades after the Stockton and Darlington Railway began operations in the United Kingdom.
The Jamaican rail service has been closed on numerous occasions, with the latest closure occurring in August 2012.
The Jamaican Parliament proposed a revival under a public joint venture corporation with an overseas partner. Today, private freight transport operates on limited tracks leading to the various harbors and moving bauxite and sugar cane for export.
2. Redemption Song Monument by Laura Facey
Many people have shared their appreciation for Redemption Song at Emancipation Park. Located at the main entrance of the city’s Botanic Gardens, this sculpture symbolises the triumph of Black male and female emancipation from slavery.
The sculpture is surrounded by a round fountain on its base. Water from the middle falls softly and uniformly onto the curved floor, leading to an underground chamber. The fountain streams water onto people’s feet and over their hands.
“Water is an important part of the monument. It is refreshing, purifying and symbolically washes away the pain and suffering of the past,” said artist Laura Facey, the creator of this amazing masterpiece. The piece was inspired by Jamaican hero Marcus Garvey and the Reggae legend Bob Marley. Laura Facey’s design was chosen from among sixteen designs that were put forward in a national competition.
It took a month to produce scale models of the monument. All three-dimensional sculptural works were cut into 69 parts before being cast in bronze and then rejoined. The males are long, and females are bulky. There were about 100 people involved in the Redemption Song making process, which was unveiled in July 2003 for the Park’s first anniversary.
Redemption Song reflects the quintessential spirit of democracy. A freedom to try, to succeed, and to evolve.
3. Jamaican Mento Music
Mento is the style of Jamaican folk music that predates ska and reggae. It is a fusion of African rhythmic elements with European melody, and has influenced many popular genres of music including rock, hip hop, and pop.
Photo credit: Yevgen Belich/Shutterstock.com
4. History of Reggae
When the genre of reggae emerged in the 1960s, it was met with considerable acclaim. The music quickly gained popularity around the world and has influenced counterculture movements, including those in Europe, America, and Africa.
5. The History of the Post Office in Jamaica
Few people are aware of the important role that the Post Office played in Jamaica’s early history. In the lawless days of piracy, letters were often double- or even triple-checked before they could be delivered. This was done to ensure that they still came to the right place in spite of the risks.
In the 1950s, the Jamaican post office commissioned a study to find ways to save money and streamline their operations. The recommendations of this group resulted in the establishment of Travelling Post Offices across the island.
These were the mail sorters who sorted and made delivery of the mail between the various stations and agencies. They picked up and conveyed closed mail between these locations, as well as making delivery of local mail.