Exhibitionists, Voyeurs, Cellphones and Bluetooth


Trust no one……Not even your lover

Today my students were showing me without any embarrassment, downloaded images of local people having sex using their phone. It seems that it is the new ‘thing’ to do. I find it quite shocking, and the students are all a bit giggly about it, telling me in one instance that they went to high school with one of the participants, and in another instance, that the girl in the self pleasuring film short is the daughter of a rich businessman. I do not consider myself a prude, but I realize that what I consider jolting, others consider a way of the world, and thus very worthy of trying to understand where our island youth are going in terms of what technology is helping them to experience, and thus making them more worldy than ever before.I am amazed at the use of a cellphone for such an activity that can remain in public domain forever.

I wonder whether the people involved are seeking thrills and fame of some sort? What is the motivator? Just last year a local public figure was featured showing off his penis as well as his alleged prowess with a variety of women, this was made more shocking because he belonged to a very religious family. He subsequently lost his job and left the island.You could not go anywhere without people feverishly talking about it, and as for emailing the images around, it seemed never ending. It was definitely a new experience in the world of public images in Trinidad and Tobago. It also showed a level of hidden sophistication, as people would tell you how they saw it, who blue toothed whom, and how it got online in the first place. No one was shy about discussing the contents of the images and everyone who got involved with discussing the hijinx basically laughed it off as the folly of youth. In Trinidad and Tobago that is a big deal. We are a country of big contradictions. Public displays of affection is not encouraged, and people walking around half dressed are considered loose and crazy.

In fact Shurwayne Winchester recently had to explain why the homophobic lyrics in a song he released last year, should not be frowned upon by the ‘gay community.” We have a whole ‘underground’ culture that co-exists alongside constant churchgoing and marching for crime and Jesus. This new habit of detailing ones private life via phone and sharing it is hardly a phenomenon of these islands, but what it does do, is it shows us the repression and curiosity that persists in our island,as the participants are of all races, ages and professions. Is it possible that such filming shall spawn an artform?

After writing the above article, the newspaper has had a front page expose about children making films for themselves and sharing them around with their friends.

What has happened since, is that it has encouraged a great deal of debate. Everyone I know has had something serious to say about the topic, and it has led to quite a lot of very interesting points of view about children in schools to parental discipline and home schooling. This is likely to be the first of a long debate. – Adele

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