Fishing and Faith
It takes a lot of faith to venture out into the Atlantic Ocean day after day to cast one's nets from a dugout canoe, propelled only by hand-carved wooden paddles. Protection is needed. The resting fishing boats pulled up on the beach in Monrovia are a testament to that faith and to that need; there is scarcely a single vessel without a biblical citation or a praise to the Lord emblazoned on the side. But like tap-taps, the ornately painted microbuses that serve as the entirety of Haiti's public transit system, the decoration of the Monrovia fleet juxtaposes a variety of elements from the spiritual, athletic and political worlds. Painting the insignia of the Manchester United Football Club on the side of a wheelbarrow, or of a canoe, is about making an association with the very best. The painter provides, literally, a brush with greatness. Your paintjob affiliates you with supremacy, whether represented by the divine, or a star attacking midfielder. You show respect, you ask for protection, you brand yourself, you are endorsed.