Yellow Cargo

“Yellow Cargo,” a site-specific installation with 1500 banana boxes with banana stickers and single-channel projection, Machala Salón, Art and Culture Centre, Machala, Ecuador, 2016

Yellow Cargo is a site-specific installation for the people and city of Machala, Ecuador.  It is comprised of 1500 banana boxes from the local industry in Machala, built into a cargo ship and accompanied with a video projection. This project arose after my trip to Machala last year and my research into the significance of banana exports from Machala and the rest of Ecuador to China and the world.

Through contemporary globalization, Machala has developed strong economic relations with the world, bananas being one of their major exports.  The work becomes symbolic of this relationship, where the ship communicates these economic and cultural links, and the banana boxes represent local economy, society and culture. The video projection on the back of the ship, Waterfront, shows the homes of workers who live by the ocean in Machala. The video further connects the ship to the local community and its burgeoning maritime economy. The cargo ship acts as a link between Machala and the globe, expressed through the addition of Waterfront; the ship carries the community and culture and connects it with the world.  The various local banana labels give more context into the history and production of the banana industry and culture beyond itself, showing how Machala’s culture flows into the global community.