photo album

My parents and grandparents left Guyana and illegally crossed over into Suriname. They settled down and built a new life. They would be considered lower middle class, which at the time just meant that you were able to feed everyone in your household at most twice a day. They left Guyana with nothing but the clothes on their back and an album of pictures in their pockets.Once they moved to Suriname, things had a brighter outlook. Keeping a house and providing food for everyone was much easier. The only problem with Suriname is that the people who lived there were very ethnocentric and were racist towards the Guyanese. My family faced constant pressure, as the Surinamese police would randomly arrest those who looked Guyanese and deport them. In their house in Suriname most of the pictures of Guyana were stored under my fathers bed. Unfortunately, the house flooded during one of Suriname's notorious rainstorms. All of the pictures stored under the bed were destroyed and had to be thrown out. Only a few remained.Growing up, I was constantly left with my grandparents while my parents worked. My grandmother would always tell me stories of where she grew up but never have any pictures to show me. The value of those that were destroyed in the rainstorm is immense but it lead her to tell me of growing up in Suriname. Through her plethora of pictures, I was able to feel more connected to her younger self and understood the struggles she grew up with.

Place(s): Guyana
Year: 1991

– Jeremy Shrikissoon

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant