The EMC Foundation, in collaboration with the Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Company Ltd (GTT), opened the “Guyana Through Your Eyes” photography exhibition at the Castellani House in Georgetown on Saturday. The exhibition celebrates Guyana’s environment and rich cultural heritage, as seen through the lens of photographers across Guyana.
This curated collection captures the essence of the country’s landscapes, people, and traditions, inviting visitors to explore the nation’s spirit and uncover its hidden stories. The exhibition aims to inspire a love for the natural world, promote conservation awareness, and provide a platform for artistic expression.
According to EMC Foundation’s Programme Manager Stella Madete, “Photographers hold the unique ability to transcend language and cultural barriers. They play a crucial role in documenting our planet’s vast natural and cultural diversity. By capturing images of cultural practices, endangered species, rare habitats, and delicate ecosystems, they provide invaluable records, foster understanding, and ignite the passion for protecting our diverse ecosystems.”
The exhibition marks the peak of the “Guyana Through Your Eyes” photography competition that brought together the creativity and vision of over 100 talented photographers around Guyana.
Michael Lam, who was one of the judges for the competition, shared that, “Our expectations were met and even exceeded. These images represented a range of subjects and visions across the length and breadth of our beautiful country. Every photographer should take pride in being included in the shortlist, and even more so in being exhibited in the National Gallery of Art, because now, each piece is more than just a photograph; it is a work of art to be admired, discussed, to be a source of inspiration and a piece that provokes thought in the viewers.”
The top three photographs that captivated the expert panel of judges include “Contrasting Fields,” an aerial perspective of a cow in a rice field, “Ready for the Journey” by Lakhram Bhagirat, showing a dugout canoe mind stream, and the winner, “Mommy’s Patience” by Keiran Samuels, a dramatic image of a Crimson Topaz Hummingbird braving the rain in her nest.
An elated Samuels shared, “I’m incredibly proud to be the winner of this year’s Guyana Through Your Eyes competition. Photography is a powerful medium that can bridge the gap between people and the natural world, fostering a deeper appreciation for nature’s beauty and importance. Platforms like these are important to not only show our work, but encourage people to look closer, feel deeper, and consider their role in conserving the environment.”
EMC Foundation Founder and Director, Shyam Nokta stated, “Photography allows us to capture the essence of what is around us, including nature and the environment. Advances in technology allow us all, those who have a passion for photography, an interest in nature, as well as professionals in these fields, to capture unique moments. This competition and exhibition by the EMC Foundation has sought to bring together photography and interest in nature as part of efforts to continue to raise awareness about the environment. We hope that through raising awareness, we can help to connect people to take positive action on the environment.”
Meanwhile, GTT’s Chief Commercial Officer, Kerchelle Charles added, “Our support for this competition stems from the desire to showcase the breathtaking natural beauty of Guyana which simultaneously empowering and amplifying the works of talented photographers. Our partnership with EMC Foundation underscores our dedication to uplifting our communities, celebrating the diversity of our nation, and supporting the transformative power of creativity.”
Additionally, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Charles Ramson, reiterated the Government’s commitment to creating a sustainable future for its citizens through innovative initiatives that include supporting the creative arts as a catalyst for environmental protection.
According to Ramson, “Incorporating photography and creative arts into environmental advocacy efforts can bring a fresh and compelling perspective to these important issues, fostering a greater understanding of the interconnectedness between us and the natural world. I commend the EMC Foundation efforts in seeking to advance environmental awareness in Guyana. This allows our society to become a lot more conscious about the environment and our responsibility for its protection.”
Guyana Through Your Eyes exhibition offers a platform for amateur and professional photographers to shine a light on Guyana’s rich biodiversity, celebrate the country’s cultural heritage, and provide a platform to raise awareness of environmental issues. It will run from August 19 to September 21, 2023, at the National Gallery, Castellani House.