Killing Us Softly, 2019
Triptych about the Chlordecone tragedy affecting the French West Indies based on the “reviewed” Japanese pictorial maxim of the three wise monkeys “see evil, hear evil, speak evil”. It symbolises how the French Government pressurised by a minority of influent large planters behaved towards the French Caribbean population over more than 30 years. Except in this case, ignoring or underestimating a mass contamination by pesticide lead to heavy consequences affecting us today and centuries to come.
The pesticide officially declared toxic in 1972 and banned in the US in 1976 following an environmental crisis in Hopewell (Virginia), continued to be legal under the French government for use on the islands until 1993. A 2013 study found among adults in Martinique and Guadeloupe, that 95% had chlordecone in their blood while they rank number one in the world for rates of prostate cancer.
Chlordecone is a persistent and long lasting toxin remaining in the soil for up to 600 years with a range of harmful effects on humans including cancer, infertility and premature births.
With the use of golden blood, it is suggested that while our people are bleeding and dying, all “they” see is gold. The real poison being greed, profit by any means necessary without concerns about the collateral damage on your own turf.
– Step in Martinique, Old Street Records (London, 7th Nov 2019)
– Depiction of Living, The Art Pavillon (London, 24th-28th Jan 2020)
Photography and Dataviz by Mister Geez, London based visual story teller from Martinique
Male model is Ralph Richer from the Ziloka French Caribbean traditional music group based in London, UK
Three data visualisations have been created alongside the photographic portraits with different themes:
Panel 1 (See Evil) is Who? Shows the international dimension of the trajedy, which Countries and organizations were involved from the 60s to this day
Central Panel 2 (Speak Evil) is What? Shows various facts about the crisis, with various action categories such as Danger, Warning, Studies, Safety
Panel 3 (Hear Evil) is When? Shows a symbolic timeline with the distribution of various events or actions affecting the population considered dangerous, safe, warnings, scientific studies, community petitions, crowdfunding, legal and lobbying
Speech linked to QR code on central Panel 2 (Speak Evil) is “My island is poisoned” by Ralph Richer (portrait model) and music from the Ziloka French Caribbean traditional music group based in London, UK
Speeches linked to QR codes on Panel 1 (See Evil) and Panel 3 (Hear Evil) are from M. Malcom Ferdinand (environmental engineer, doctor of political philosophy and CNRS researcher)
during the French Parlementary Commission of Enquiry about Chlordecone in September 2019 (report expected December 4th)
translated and read in English & various languages by neural network Amazon Polly cloud service