The political climate is changing, becoming more pragmatic and economically opportunistic. The system of political patronage is being dismantled. Even so there is still an exclusive focus on winning elections. The recent past is still a prime determinant of the geometric description in zinc and concrete of the urban rituals of Jamaica today. The landscape of Kingston remains divided into a complex pattern of antithetical areas connected by an absurdly convoluted network of paths. To each city dweller the city presents itself as a customised patchwork of familiar fragments linked by corridors intersecting large blank areas, usually lined with zinc and inhabited only by hearsay and its mythological creatures. The boundaries of these patches in the politically more sensitive areas are marked clearly by the colour and signs of that community’s forcefully homogenised political affiliation. Countless deaths are still caused by a Romeo persisting in his love for a Juliet and crossing the line that has come to divide them.(7)

            The area of Southside is infamous for its complex partitioning into areas of a tribal loyalty for which the overt justification is political affiliation. The place is a labyrinth of imperative detours. People on their daily trek to the shops or to work are living proof that the shortest efficient distance between two points is seldom a straight line.


Paradoxically this urban complexity obtains for both sides of the divide, the poorer areas of Downtown and the wealthy areas of Uptown Kingston. Uptown and Downtown Kingston are mirror images of each other. For instance, landowners from both areas have capitalised on their land, creating yards (for the poor) or compounds (for the wealthy). These mercenary subdivisions have created a patchwork of domestic fortresses and an extraordinary network of non-connecting, narrow canyon-like paths.


As soon as a path is out of use, its memory is eradicated. ex memoriam, humiliated by its fall from function.