A speck of beauty amidst the drudgery

Reposted from Khan’s Chronicles  |  JUNE 15, 2012 · 3:57 PM


Amidst the drudgery of existence in Guyana is something different. It is innocuous and beautiful. A growing group of young Guyanese photography enthusiasts is documenting contemporary (I cannot bring myself to use the word ‘modern’) Guyana. Through their lens, both of the camera and mind, they capture life and landscape in alluring, arresting, entrancing frames.

Among the group are the fiercely committed and enviously gifted non-professionals Nikhil Ramkarran and Michael Lam. Professional photographer Dwayne Hackett, Fidal Bassier and Phillip Williams are also integral. There are others with whom I am less personally familiar but whose work I am often captivated by on their facebook group.

Ever so often they embark on Photo Walks, whether in Georgetown or a non-urban location along the coast. The seawalls seem to be a favourite (default?) location for their treks. I believe they have completed nine such. After each, photographic gems have emerged. From street side limers, landmark Georgetown buildings, church interiors, dead fish to Atlantic sunsets, photographs threatening genius quality have been produced.

The photos appeal to me both as genuine works of art and because I have a deeper interest in the art form.

From my early teenage years I have had a long and torrid love affair with photography. Then, before the term ‘photo walk’ was invented, I used to go on solitary walks on the Philadelphia, Vergenoegen, Tuschen and Zeelugt seawalls and snap, conservatively, away. Those were the pre-digital days when one had to fastidiously count the clicks to avoid running out of preciously limited film.

To this day some of the photographs from those days, having been printed by Acme Photo Studio, are on the wall of my study in Guyana. None enlarged, all standard 6×4. The most prized of them being one which captures the words ‘I love you Tamara’ written with a stick in the sand of the Vergenoegen seawall. Those words were written a long time before December 30, 2011 when Tamara and I wed.

As I, unwittingly, did then, these young photo enthusiasts now are capturing not only life and landscape but vibes, passions and feelings. It is one of the rare specks of beauty which shines through in an otherwise muck-ridden Guyana. There may not now be a proper appreciation of their work but in years to come, they will be reminded, as will generations to follow, of how life used to be when Guyana was yet to define her place in the world.


Imran Khan is a renowned Guyanese Journalist.

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