Commentary Arts of the Contact Zone Essay

Published: 2021-06-29 01:25:51
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Waking up to the sound of the waves crashing, vendors on the beach are offering fresh cold coconuts: children are playing in the warm, equatorial water. The beach is serene and quiet compared to the wild parties of the night before. The sun is warming the world is coming alive and the day beginning. You walk a little further and accommodate your route to avoid the build up of smashed bottles in the sand. A homeless man lies ahead of you. A plastic bag washes up on the shore along With a dead blowfish.
When you think of the town of Educates, the vibrant barge town on the coast of Ecuador, it is inevitable to avoid seeing the griminess Of the beach. A paradise with so much beauty also bears the scars of the negligence of its inhabitants. Ecuador is a beautiful place with a complex mix of kind, and friendly, festive people who are always willing to give a helpful hand. It is a small land with great biodiversity. But be careful when you are walking to the market place: watch your wallet or purse because the chances of being mugged are very high.
Also, be warned of the street vendors, who will try to sell you a bag of oranges for a dollar. On the inside, all the oranges are bad, There is a deep divide between its people that have historical roots. I come trot the Messiest or Carillon class. This class is typically regarded as the “high class” or the social elites in the country, The other main class is the indigenous. There has always been tension between the two social classes, Anderson says, “Communities are to be distinguished, not by their falsity/genuineness, but by the style in which they are imagined” (43).
Supposedly, laws and the “social revolution” are changing the way we imagine our community: a strong united, one country. Yet reality is that we are not what we imagine ourselves. We are a deeply divided people who segregate among those who are like themselves. Most of the population is poor and in need of help. By envisioning ourselves as one community, we chose to ignore the social issues we have at hand. Taking this position assumes that since we are all one strong community, we are already helping one another and no further change is needed;yet the reality is quite the opposite.
By having one people rich and the Other poor, you create an inevitable clash between the two. Pratt would define it s the following, “(contact zones) refer to social spaces where cultures meet clash, and grapple with each other, often in contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power, such as colonialism, slavery” (487). Historically, the Spanish colonized the indigenous population and exploited their labor, wealth, and natural resources, Nowadays, the wealthier class includes the business owners, and the indigenous class is mainly workers.
The scenario of asymmetrical power is present in Ecuador. According to this model, the dominant group will usually impose its custom on the other. In the case of Oswald Gymnasium and his art, the opposite is true. Oswald Gymnasium is an internationally recognized painter to Quiches descent who traveled throughout South America and observed the indigenous lifestyle and poverty that appeared in his paintings. Through his painting he became a well-respected activist for the rights of the poor in Ecuador and in South America.
His paintings are a form of unsolicited oppositional discourse that is produced in the contact zone to challenge the status quo. This example shows how oversimplified the asymmetrical power relationships are within the contact zone. Pratt expresses a contact zone to be a struggle between NON cultures where they meet at the end With unison conclusion. It is a very topic idea, much like Anderson, that reality does not embody. The lower indigenous class makes up 70% Of the population, and though considered the lower less powerful class, take to the streets when not pleased.
Therefore, the government pleases them first instead of the high-class messiest. The relationship between the two classes is much more complicated and cannot simply be portrayed as an asymmetrical power relationship between the two cultures. Miller says, “considered an unsolicited parody or critique of AT&T’s “Common Bond values,” which state that “we treat each other with respect and dignity, valuing individual and cultural differences” (391), Treating each other others cultures with respect and dignity is merely superficial.
Both classes are threatened by the opposing one. The upper class is frightened that status quo will change and that their current commodities will be lost. The lower class is afraid that they are being taken advantage of. This exposes the unpleasant, ugly truth that we try to ignore. As much as we try to hide, our ultras are deeply divided and issues of racism, intolerance, and indifference to others arise. Gymnasium’s painting brings these issues to light.
We all agree that they are there, but eve act as if they are being taken care of. This is not the case. Educates is still dirt under the beautiful sunset: and is inevitable to neglect the divide between its people.

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