Black River, Jamaica. April 30, 2023: The town of Black River now has a mural which not only depicts the history of the town through art but utilizes the technology of augmented reality to engage visitors and memorialize historic events of the area. The project which was initiated by Member of Parliament for St Elizabeth Southwest Honourable Floyd Green and dubbed “Something to Sea,” highlights Black River as the first town in Jamaica to have electricity, the first to have a car, the unique history of the Zong slave ship, the town’s logwood trade which was of significant economic importance in its heyday, among other things.
The initiative is another of the TPDCo’s “Spruce Up Pon de Corner” Programme which allocates financial and technical resources to all sixty-three constituencies across Jamaica to facilitate sustainable livelihoods through job creation, training, sound environmental practices and participation of local communities in local area development. Among the objectives of the programme are resilience and sustainability through diversification of the product and enhancement of the visitor experience.
According to Minister Bartlett “the allocation for “Spruce Up” projects will be increased from three to four million dollars per constituency and it is a programme which is truly inclusive. Further, this initiative supports the Ministry’s thrust to innovate and utilize emerging technologies for greater engagement and visitor satisfaction.”
Minister Green in his remarks said that the mural would “boost the aesthetic appeal of Black River while enhancing visitor experience by highlighting Black River’s rich history and diversifying the points of interest in the town. All one has to do is scan the QR code and be transported to an experience which engages the senses.”
The mural was curated by award winning Kingston Creative with input from local creatives and along with the augmented reality experience was completed at a cost of two million dollars ($2M).
The mural located at the bridge on Crane Road was one of several stops made by Minister Bartlett, the team from the ministry of Tourism and local stakeholders as part of his Destination Assurance tour being conducted across resort areas with a view to informing the Destination Assurance Framework and Strategy (DAFS) of the ministry.