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Apr 30, 2010

Mali Cayetano’s book “We Are Free” released at the Image Factory

exhibition 4At the Image Factory tonight, Mali Cayetano, is releasing a book that will appeal to children. If her name sounds familiar, it is because Mali is the daughter of the accomplished couple, Pen and Ingrid Cayetano.  Called “We are Free,” the book takes readers through the cultural journey of the Garinagu beginning in Africa to their arrival in Belize and took a year to put together. News Five’s Delahnie Bain got an early look at “We are free.”

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Mali Cayetano, the daughter of artists Pen and Ingrid Cayetano, was blessed with the talents of her parents. While she grew up in Germany, she is in Belize sharing one of her latest works, illustrations from a children’s book named ‘We Are Free’.

Mali Cayetano, Artist

mali cayetano

mali cayetano

“It’s about the origin of the Garinagu people; how they came from Africa to the Caribbean. So there are three children lying in the grass in Dangriga and suddenly they see a paradise bird and they follow the bird into the woods and there they find like a spiritual mural and she transferred the children with some magical words into the past then they are flying with the bird into the past to Africa then from Africa they take the journey to the Caribbean; to St. Vincent and from St. Vincent to Honduras and Honduras to Belize.”

[Montage of “We Are Free” images…]

Mali says the book was made for an exam in a graphics design course she took in Germany, but in creating it, she was focused on her culture.

Mali Cayetano

“It was for me very important to keep the culture alive because I noticed a lot of children or a lot of people here in Belize they forgot their culture and they forgot who they are and it’s very important to know the roots. I grew up in Germany and there I had my roots also because we had the music, we had the art. Pen Cayetano, he’s my father and he did paintings about Garinagu and we had the music and everything. So the Garinagu was always a part of me and it’s always important to have a background and to know your own roots where you’re coming from.”

exhibition 2The exhibit will also feature painted calabash, T-shirts and postcards, all Mali’s creations inspired by the artwork in the book. She also chose to include a display showing the different steps of production from sketches to the characters’ creation.

Mali Cayetano

“I want to show that the book is not a book from the beginning; you have to have some ideas and you have to make some sketches so I would like to show the process, how a book is getting developed. It’s not a fast thing that you’re having the idea and doing it very quickly. It took me like one year to realize the whole book and it’s a lot of time, lot of research, lot of thinking, lot of drawings so it’s a lot of work so I want to show the process also.”

As a bonus, the book will be released along with a music CD.

Mali Cayetanoexhibition 3

“There are a couple songs from the family band and some of the songs are only from my father and some I recorded with some students from Germany, a couple German songs because the book is a German book; the first print is a German book and so you learn the language by reading the book, looking at the pictures and also hearing it.”

While the illustrations are being launched tonight, the actual book is still being prepared for mass publication. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

The exhibit opens tonight at the Image Factory and runs until May twenty-eighth.

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4 Responses for “Mali Cayetano’s book “We Are Free” released at the Image Factory”

  1. Liz Lewis says:

    Mali, you go girl. You are an inspiration to the youths all over the world.

  2. pgmike says:

    The Garifuna culture will never die. Be still & listen to your spirit & soul. With god, all things are possible. Mali, you are truly living your name’s experience. Thanks for uplifting the nation.

  3. paul castillo says:

    Mighty proud of you Garifuna woman. I know this is the start of a long and creative career,

    looking forward to reading your book.

    paul castillo
    chicago illinois

  4. Nilson Gamboa says:

    Sometimes we wonder why we grew up so far away from our people. Yet distance has only brought us closer to who we truly are. Distance has made us believe in a cultural faith that is rooted in our being. ” this man is talking crazy you may say!”, I tell you that in you is also a vision and an understanding of a linear hope which can only be carried through our children. So i say onto you; you who have listened to your higher calling, that all that you touch in obedience, and in alignement to your assignement is blessed.

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