Nirvana Persaud will be focusing on the theme of adaptive re-use for heritage preservation. Guyana’s heritage as with many other nations is worthy of preservation. Our history has shown that the early colonisers made use of local building materials on hand – timber and thatch as these were easily available from local forests, and which evolved gradually into several building styles. Our unique blend of cultures has bequeathed a signature craftsmanship evident in a domestic architecture that is overwhelmingly wooden and elaborate and which remains the cornerstone of the historic character of our city, towns and far-flung villages. This architecture is defined principally by the old buildings along with impressive seawalls, elaborate (iron) bridges, commemorative arches, bandstands, public gardens, historic forts, pre-Columbian sites and monumental sculptures all comprising a rich and wonderfully varied heritage of which many examples have survived as landmarks of our national identity. This presentation fits into one of four of the proposed main topics for the conference, that is, ‘Adaptive re-use of built heritage’, a very important and viable concept that all small states and developing countries should invest in and support as a way forward in sustaining their built heritage.
Nirvana S. Persaud holds a Masters in World Heritage Management (2010 University of Turin, Italy), a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History (2002) & a Post Graduate Diploma in International Studies (2004) (University of Guyana), a Professional Specialisation Certificate in Heritage Conservation Planning (2007), a Diploma in Cultural Resource Management (2008) and more recently (2017) a Professional Specialisation Certificate in Collections Management all from the University of Victoria, BC, Canada. She is a UNESCO Fellow for research in Heritage Conservation Management (University of Victoria, Canada) in 2006-2007. She joined the National Trust of Guyana in 2003 as a Researcher & in 2010 became the first Chief Executive Officer in 2010, a post she still holds. Her interests are heritage, preservation, sustainable management, public awareness & education. She is a member of ICOMOS & the National Focal Point for world heritage matters in Guyana. Under her watch the Trust won 2 international awards for its work in 2013 (Caribbean) and 2016 (UK) & enlisted City Hall on WMF (USA) Watch list for 2014.