Digital Guyana

Posts Tagged ‘my place or yours

steelband

It struck me this week that I’ve not really tried to properly describe Georgetown on this blog since I’ve been here.

It’s a hard place to pin down. It’s on the Caribbean coast but the sea is brown and the beach litter strewn. We’re in South America but the two main ethnic groups, Indo and Afro-Guyanese, both speak a Creolese flavoured English. It feels like an old colonial capital, yet with the myriad wooden houses on stilts and long wide streets there’s a real whiff of the Deep South about the place.

There are no shades of grey, however, in one aspect of Georgetown – the noise. It is an incredibly noisy city. In a good way.

From the constant beeping of minibuses and taxis, the thud of chutney and soca music, locals bantering in the street – and occasionally shouting ‘white man’ at me – there is rarely, nay never, a pause for calm. I love it. And when the sun goes down the clamour of the city doesn’t let up – the hum of crickets and yelping of stray dogs your sleeping soundtrack.

So, partly inspired by Chris’s guest blog on the Sounds of Guyana on the My Place Or Yours site and my love of sound clips (I also recently discovered a sound recording function on my camera) I decided to try to record a few memorable sounds and things that caught my ear. What follows is a six minute hotchpotch I’ve quickly spliced together in Audacity featuring, among other things, local radio in minibuses, Creole chatter, wildlife – i.e. stray dogs and kiskadees – and a quick introduction to dominoes.

Apologies for the odd sound pop – my recorder isn’t great – and Chris’s drunken musings during Haddaway (remember that one?!)… too good not to include.

Georgetown sounds mp3 (click to play / right to click save as).

Advertisements

Call me a two-timing rascal, but I’ve been blogging elsewhere since I’ve been out here in Guyana.

The kind folk at Apples & Snakes (the national poetry organisation in the UK) have asked me to contribute some guest posts to My Place Or Yours, a blog-based project they’re billing as:

A new kind of writer residency, exploring real and virtual places across five regions of England

…and now Guyana too.

Anyway, I’ve just written three posts so far:

More to come, especially if the long-promised poetry night ever happens (Tuesday next week, we’re now told).

Hi there, my name’s Chris Unitt and I’m one of the team who’ll be teaching the Web Skills course out in Guyana. I leave in just over 36 hours and the anticipation levels are rising!

Chris Unitt 4

I first heard about this project in January when I got chatting to Tim Davies of Practical Participation at the Tuttle Club (London’s weekly social media get-together). It sounded like a fantastic opportunity to challenge myself, improve my training skills and share what I know with people.

The part of the course that I’ve developed centres around the use of WordPress – an open-source blogging platform that’s very simple to use and easy to adapt to the purposes of most websites (this blog uses it, for example).

I’ll post details of this part of the course later on, but the plan is to spend a day showing the students how to set-up WordPress on a server, how to tweak it’s appearance and functionality and then getting everybody to start publishing their own content.

In addition I’ll be helping to run Friday drop-in sessions (to be modelled roughly on the Social Media Surgeries held in Birmingham) and also offering short specialism around advanced blogging skills and the basics of ecommerce.

A little about – me I’m ex-lawyer turned blogger/social media consultant for the arts and cultural sector. My company is Meshed Media and I’ve worked with the likes of Maverick TV, Channel 4, Apples and Snakes and Birmingham Hippodrome.

I also organise a film competition called Film Dash and help run a (very) small record label called Culturedeluxe.

As well as posting updates here, I’ve also been asked to guest post over at My Place Or Yours, so please have a look over there.