Just a photo 🙂
Liliendaal, Georgetown, Guyana, South America.
Click on the image to see it in the Seawall Gallery.
My fascination with the seawalls continues.
Almost every weekend, I stop somewhere along the walls… sometimes never taking a photo, just walk along the wall, or to the water’s edge for a few minutes.
Sometimes I take photos that never see the light of day, but sometimes there’s one that falls just into the type of image that I like taking, processing and sharing.
Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm | 10mm, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 100
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with other images from this year’s Deck Project
I’m using this blog-post to express some opinions. No one has to agree with me, or even bother reading, you can skip to the photo 🙂
Guyana’s Sound – recently there has been talk about developing a unique sound for Guyana, someone was even telling me that there was talk about using the Ringbang name – I say stop right there!! For one thing, Ringbang is not Guyanese, it’s Caribbean, it’s more encompassing than what most Guyanese think and it is not “we own” (I know, Ringbang is Eddy Grant’s creation, and while he is “we own” the idea behind Ringbang was regional and not local). Not many people might remember that Guyana actually had a sound, a unique style of music that died off as suddenly as it was born… and all before our time, it was called Shanto, and the man responsible for its popularity was Bill Rogers, while I don’t remember all the songs I do recall the Fifteen Cent Sweetheart and BG Baghee. Another identifiable style was that of David Campbell, very folk oriented and probably unknown to most Guyanese living here… Our world-famous artistes all sing or trade on existing genres, and they do it well. Eddy Grant is arguably our most famous musician outside of our borders, I think most Guyanese can name at least two of his songs (which in itself is a tragedy, melodically the albums were very good; lyrically, let’s just say that Guyanese should really listen to more of his tracks than just Electric Avenue and Johanna). Dave Martins is likely the most well-known and well liked, it is not uncommon that people know the lyrics of his popular songs perhaps even better than he does, his music speaks to us as a nation, we identify with it, is we own. Is it a unique sound? That is hard for me to say, it is calypso and folk, and a lot of Dave. Our newer artistes like Natural Black, Timeka Marshall, Jomo, Adrian Dutchin and Slingshot all sing in the reggae, dancehall and soca genres (with some R&B influences), the ever popular Terry Gajraj and similar artistes of the Chutney field did very well for a period. There was a period in the 1980s when there were a lot of Bands, and while many were mostly cover bands some were striving to get original songs on the airwaves and played publicly; these included the Yoruba Singers (out of which came Charmaine Blackman), Mingles Sound Machine and EC Connection, to my ear, EC Connection had a different sound to many other performing bands across the region, likely due to the compositions of Burchmore Simon. Here’s my opinion on the Guyana Sound that we seem to be looking for, you can’t necessarily develop it, it has to be born then nurtured; encourage musicians to create, encourage them to be the drive that the industry needs, this is where the DJs come in, they simply play more to the imported music, understandable, but they need to be creative themselves and help make the sounds of Guyanese heard here.
I was going to try posing a “plan” for a weekly event for musicians, but that will have to be a different forum I think…
Another local blogger raised a question recently asking about where or when is Guyana’s Renaissance happening… I think it is now.
We are living in a time of change, of relative hardship, of freedom of expression, of creativity. Nothing is going to be handed to us, so stop expecting the government to give you something, or the corporations to want to give you contracts just because you say you’re an artist. The arts collectively cannot have one plan to do this together, that is impractical, the needs and the development of each genre is different and diverse, but I also say we cannot each do it alone, we must be supportive of the other, to work together when possible, and to let creativity be the driving force as individuals, but the love for art be the driving force collectively.
Copyright and Intellectual Property rights are always touted as the factor that hinders the arts from progressing, while I agree that it forms a basis upon which the artists can earn from their work, the lack of proper legislation should not stop us from creating. There is always a lot of talk about IP legislation, but little action, I have yet to see a group of advocates put forward the writings that may form the basis of any legislation, but I may be in error on this. I think that now is the time for these advocates to act, to put forward the documents, the artists are eager to give voice.
This is the time of our Renaissance, we have musicians eager to perform with some breaking through, we have writers eager to be published, we have performance artists making headway on stage and on-screen, we have painters, sculptors, photographers and every type of visual artist expressing themselves daily through their work. To everyone in the Visual arts, the performing arts and the literary arts, I say it is time to create, to get your work out there, we are the artists of Guyana’s Renaissance.
Geotube Groyne – Thomaslands, Georgetown.
If this photo has anything at all to do with what I’ve written is entirely up to each reader, if you are a member of the creative people of Guyana or simply like to see the works of the creatives, ask yourself what element would you be in this image…
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with the other photos for this year’s Deck Project.
I was wondering why I found this particular photo appealing… not great, just appealing… then realized my eyes kept following the branches all over the place like a maze, or one of those optical illusion drawings that keep looping back impossibly onto itself.
It’s just a tree, one that was uprooted on the seawalls, and even though the roots are above ground, it just refuses to die 🙂
Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm | 10mm, 1/160s, f/8.0, ISO 100
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery
Georgetown, the Garden City; our fair city, once replete with Victorian and Colonial architecture, dutch built and inspired drainage canals reminiscent of European cities, and tree-lined streets and avenues, now laughingly referred to by it’s denizens as the Garbage City, floods with the slightest rain, governed (I use that word as loosely as is possible) by a city council that was elected two decades ago (although faces have changed, but not through any democratic process that I know of), and, sadly, losing it’s trees through neglect, sabotage, and lack of foresight (or hindsight it seems).
Most of the trees lining our streets predate us, they were planted, nurtured and cared for by colonial masters (and slaves) before our independence, before the Republic came into being, before self-governance and the long road that led to where we are today.
As we have travelled that road through time, our leaders, our people, we ourselves have forgotten or ignored what it was, what it is that makes Georgetown a place we want to live in, to visit, to be proud of… We as people, are not as welcoming as we should be, we as humans are not as caring of our environment as we should be.
Saving or replanting trees is not THE answer, but it’s a small part, one that is likely to go unnoticed or ignored.
Yesterday, Kamal Ramkarran wrote (on his own family’s place in our past and present):
As clichéd as it is, the lives of the six generations who followed them is the history of Guyana (from 1875 anyhow). All of us from here are, in a very real way, part of the history of this country. The history of Guyana is our own story, whether we know that story or not.
Since we are part of the story then, the story happening around us and through us, it ought to follow that we should make ourselves responsible for its present and future, just as we try to make ourselves responsible for the present and future of our own lives.
What part are we playing? Will what we do stand the test of time as those trees still standing attest to the work and acre of our predecessors/ancestors?
2013 | Tree in St Joseph Ursuline Convent compound, Camp and Church Streets.
Technically, the tree is in the portion of the compound now housing the St Angela’s primary school, the Ursuline compound also houses the St Rose’s Secondary School. Schools once run by the Ursuline Sisters, but were “nationalised” under the PNC government.
Another year, another 52 images for the project. Almost thought I wouldn’t make it this year… My fascination with Jhandi flags on the shore as well as my focus on seascapes has spurred some thoughts to the cohesion of images into proper collections… My Oniabo collection is still taking shape and I hope that the new year will bear fruit in similar manner.
The last photo of the year exhibits the theme nicely, in colour, so it would not be a part of my Oniabo Collection, but it is a seascape with Jhandi flags at Lusignan.
After taking a series of images here, with both the Canon 60D and the Canon 6D, I then used my phone to snap one for Instagram, and I rather like that one!
Canon 60D, Sigma 10-20mm | 1/250s, f/11, ISO 100 | Lusignan ECD.
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery along with all the images from this year’s Deck Project.
I could have just kept on walking, but while I visit the seawall fairly often, scenes like this don’t occur with much frequency while I am there, and the juxtaposition that I noticed in walking could not be ignored, so I shot it, a few times…
In a small print or viewed small this won’t look like much, I really do have to set this one aside for a large print.
And yes, I did keep it in colour, shocking, isn’t it? 🙂
The Open Temple – Kingston, Georgetown. Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm
Click on the image to see it in the Gallery.