Daily Archives: 04/24/2017

The Demerara Window – the Colonial Air Conditioner – By Murtland Haley

The Demerara Window – the Colonial Air Conditioner – By Murtland Haley

‘Red House”. High Street. Kingston. Georgetown

Before Independence in 1966, Guyana, then British Guiana was a colony of Britain. Berbice, Essequibo and Demerara were controlled and occupied by the Dutch, Spanish and French before being ceded to the British in 1814.


In 1831, Essequibo-Demerara and Berbice were combined as one colony, British Guiana. Based on the occupation and colonisation of Guiana by these European nations, much of the initial architectural designs would have been influenced by European style and culture. The buildings bearing these qualities which have survived until today can be described as historic.

Therefore, Guyana’s architectural legacy would be a combination of architectural styles from these colonisers. However, since Britain was the last to leave, Victorian architecture dominated. These styles would have been altered somewhat to accommodate the climatic conditions specific to Guyana.   Continue reading

Several detained at anti-government protest in Suriname

Several detained at anti-government protest in Suriname

Suriname protest march

PARAMARIBO, Suriname; Riot police in Suriname detained several individuals including a union leader during anti-government protests in the capital Paramaribo. During the fourth demonstration since April 6, participants called on the government to stop its “policies of destruction”. Numerous protesters chanting anti-government slogans even called for president Desi Bouterse to resign.     Continue reading

France confronts more domestic discontent — in French Guiana

France confronts more domestic discontent — in South America

Map of The Guianas

April 18, 2017 – Washington Post Global Opinions contributing columnist.

You would think that France, with its 400-year history as a colonial power, would be better at managing its overseas territories. Yet a simmering confrontation between the authorities in Paris and protesters in the French department of Guiana burst into violence on April 7, when several policemen were injured (and one hospitalized) during a demonstration.

Three days later, President François Hollande urged the protesters to end their actions and offered to meet with the territory’s elected officials to plan “Guiana’s future.” The activists turned down a meeting but temporarily lifted their barricades to let their fellow Guianese do their Easter shopping.    Continue reading

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