Today, July 25, 2020, marks ten years since the Guyana Photographers’ Facebook Group (fondly referred to as “GP”) was created by Fidal Bassier, with the support of Michael C. Lam, Kojo McPherson, and Nikhil Ramkarran. The creation of a space for us to interact marked a rejuvenation of organised photography in Guyana – the last known group of this kind was the British Guiana Photographic Society which existed in pre-Guyana (before we became an independent nation). Over the last decade, our group has grown from a humble beginning of a few curious photographers who shows up for a model shoot on the Kitty Seawall – by the Bandstand, to comprising over 4,000 members. We are truly fortunate to meet this milestone – something that would not have been possible without the humongous support we have received in Guyana and from the Guyanese diaspora.
As we celebrate this momentous event, it is only right for me to highlight some of what we have accomplished over the years. GP can be likened to a catalyst, a strong foundation for many photography related activities in Guyana over the last 10 years. We have organised 50 photowalks (13 in observance of the 10th Anniversary) around Guyana; participated in exhibitions and competitions – both local and international; engaged in 41 theme-based challenges and six (6) instalments of “Project 52”; and, have increased networking among stakeholders for the growth of photography as an art in Guyana. In addition, two of our members – Michael C. Lam and Karran Sahadeo, have spearheaded two instalments of “VISIONS” – a local, curated exhibition where photographers showcase their work. Today, individuals from a variety of organisations – at the national, regional, and international levels, consider GP as a key resource for all things photography in Guyana. However, apart from these accolades, the most important aspect can be seen in the interactions among the members. The positivity and the comradery are ever present.
What have we done to mark this occasion? The COVID-19 situation definitely put a damper on things but we still managed to get a few activities in. In summary: we had 13 photowalks (in keeping with COVID-19 protocols); compiled, curated, and published two books (with a total of 6 volumes) – one featuring photowalks’ images from 2010 to 2020 and the other specifically focused on the 10th Anniversary walks; and, today we are creating an album for photographers to upload one image each taken on July 25, 2020 to mark the occasion. (Keep watching this space for updates regarding the virtual books!!!)
With such a vibrant history, where do we go from here? What does the next decade hold for us? Here is a secret: we are starting the process of having GP formally registered under the name VISIONS. With this in mind, please enjoy a few group shots from our past photowalks.