One of many piles of disturbed earth found on the construction sites of Squamish. Each one competing with the Chief in different ways. Each taking less or more but taking nonetheless. Be it disturbing and displacing what was once there without regard if someone once called that area work or home, taking resources from somewhere else to build there, either way – it is constantly relocating and displacing, extracting and expanding… all in the name of consumption, economics and “progress.”
But what is progress exactly? For me, progress means creating happy, healthy and sustainable societies. It means inclusivity, equity, and thinking 7 generations ahead with the intention of taking care of the planet for future generations. In a progressive society, we wouldn’t create something that is “less bad” (ie: so-called green energy like electric cars because they pollute in many other ways). We’d stop and THINK, well, if it pollutes in other ways we don’t do it. We’d find a better way. If this requires slowing down, moving less, eating and creating local – then so be it. We can’t continue consuming as we are. In taking less, however, maybe we’ll discover a new way to be in the world. A quality way where all our relations matter, human and non-human. Maybe then, we’d discover what real wealth is.
Gentrification, however, is not that. This dirt pile represents the powers of an economic system- capitalism – which works without regard to people and place, while the rich get richer and the earth gets sicker. Capitalism must continuously expand to continue its existence… The fact that we live on a finite planet that we share with other life forms is irrelevant to the powers that be. In the process, what do we lose? I know what I am losing. Do you? And more importantly, what are you going to do about it?
This photo is one of nine now showing at the Green Olive Market and Café and is supported by the Squamish Arts Council’s Community Enhancement Grant.