the trash collectors. the farmers. the person that made your latte. the bus driver. the water specialist that unclogs our baby wipes from sewage pipes. the cashier. the valet. the person that cleans up the kid throw up on aisle #2. custodians of the earth are people doing the work required to maintain this highly-sterilized and homogenized society. it is the work that most of us are unwilling to do. i first came across this concept when thinking of indigenous people that rely closely on the earth's resources for livelihood. the smallest change in wind or temperature can devastate the natural resources they depend on. like coastal people that suddenly lose access to food source because of a storm. initially thinking of custodians of the earth, i also thought of black mothers being the proverbial 'mammy' for an entire society, wearing the burdens of the planet on her back (figuratively and literally).
i got the actual language -custodian of the earth- from a summer solstice post @tara.nikita posted a couple of years ago. Which was EVERYTHING and still worthy of a click, rite nih! (you can access it from my website) it summed up my feeling about these global cleaner uppers. i wanted to tie the phrase to an image, and that's when i called on my brilliant sisterfriend, twin, roomie, platonic romancer @thefairchild to give the words imagery that would 'stick' with people. tia and i talked about doing something folksy that acknowledged the cultural relavance of the longstanding work indigenous people have always dutifully performed. we also wanted something androgynous because this work is fluid as fuck. and lastly, we wanted to use symbols that represented some of the most important and least desired jobs; the sun hat for farmers and the mop for janitorial staff. we honor custodians of the earth.