The other day I had reason to pay a visit to a well respected, upper middle-class Guyanese. In the course of the conversation I commented on how much Guyana is bursting at the seams. I was given pause to think when my host made the comment about the frustrations of living in Guyana.
I must admit that this struck a chord with me, and I am pausing to reflect on the fact that Guyana has lost almost all of its middle and upper-class citizens to North America and to the Caribbean. Editor, while this letter may be a bit innocuous, it should be worth noting that any nation needs a middle class to prosper; this is the sector of population that drives not only the economy, but the spirit and the culture of a nation. It also provides a role model for aspiring citizens. I see efforts being made to revive this class, but I daresay it’s a struggle. Take for instance Ameena Gafoor’s publication of The Arts Journal: An excellent attempt to bring an appreciation of our culture back.
Our government needs to do more to encourage the middle class to feel at home in Guyana. We need to see more theatres, exclusive shops, literary workshops, book clubs, and yes, movie houses. And by the way, I know a film actor/producer in Los Angeles who has been trying in vain to bring our own Edgar Mittleholtzer’s Corentyne Thunder to the screen. Can the Ministry of Culture help?