Port Stanley, Falkland Islands
By Marcos Brindicci
That’s the word in the Falkland Islands these days.
Islanders held a referendum to stay under British rule and almost unanimously (98.8 percent) voted YES, with 92 percent of voter attendance. YES was also the first picture I took upon arriving in Port Stanley, the word formed with vehicles up on a hillside.
I first came to the Islands exactly one year ago, but the feeling now is different. It feels like the word YES is also in the spirit of its residents, as they seem much more positive towards foreigners and Argentines in general; I get the sense that they separate Argentine people from the Argentine government’s position.
A year ago, it was difficult for me just to talk to some of the islanders. Many Argentine war veterans were coming to visit the islands and they were not at ease about it. But now, they’re receiving journalists from all over, and the attention that they wanted to get, which is the main goal of the referendum. I knew that it was going to be different this time but I was not expecting to witness such a show of their patriotism.
Residents arrived at the polling stations wearing suits, wigs and dresses with the Union Jack colors, and T-shirts embossed with words that spoke their minds. And they were happy to show them and pose for the media.
I did not expect at all that people were going to line up outside the polling station in this kind of weather, changing from rain to sunshine to snowfall and sunshine again, and then rain again, all within an hour.