And a Marsh View too…

Continuing on from yesterday’s musings…people want to live in pretty places. And there aren’t many places that are lovelier than the Lowcountry coastline.

A digital acquaintance of mine is driving around the US on his motorcycle, and recently took some beautiful photos that really capture the feel of this area. He’s just a tiny bit south of the Gullah / Geechee homeland but the essence is still the same…

A Marsh View
(image from Into The Blue Again)

The Lure of A Beachfront View

There is no way to have a genuine conversation about Gullah/Geechee culture without talking about real estate. The impact outside development has had on the barrier islands of the Lowcountry, and the people who were there before the golf courses, is huge.

The pressure is on-going; places like Hilton Head are already built up, but other islands such as Sapelo, off the coast of Georgia, are now really feeling the heat of  inflated real estate prices. Couple that money with a dwindling population and it’s easy to see that the long-time residents are facing an uphill battle.

Disclaimer: it would be disingenuous of me not to mention the islands near Savannah where I grew up. I don’t know much about the history of Wilmington Island, and I can’t find much about it right now. All I can say is that it’s a middle-class, somewhat diverse place.

The other island that I lived on, Skidaway…well…not so much. It’s very much built on the Hilton Head gated-community model, complete with one of the 18 hole golf courses being named The Plantation Course. Yep, that’s not loaded imagery at all.

Nothing Is Simple

So I started this blog with the innocent idea of reading about every country in the world, in hopes of educating myself and gaining a broader understanding of my fellow humans (plus eating some excellent food along the way). Nothing wrong with that, right?

BUT. When you really start to think about what that means – not the act of reading and blogging about it, but the “every country in the world” part…that’s where it starts to get tricky. Borders are mostly a political act; artificial lines drawn for the convenience of tax collectors and map makers. They are only as real as people make them – and often that reality is delivered via the barrel of a gun.

I’m not really looking to debate the whole notion of the modern nation-state (at least not this very minute), but I’m becoming much more aware that the list of countries I’m working through does not represent everyone. And that the definition of a particular place, especially as it stands right now, might have come at a steep price for the people who were there before.

Imagine being a person who no one wants; that you don’t even have a country. With all of this in mind, I’m stating my intention to honor that. I will try to pay attention to what might be hidden behind the obvious and be mindful that the stories I’m reading don’t reveal the full picture.

Here’s a good place to start if you’d like to learn more: UNPO – Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization 

Flag of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation
(image from Wikimedia Commons)