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Aug 29, 2008

Artists from the region in Belize for Landings 9

Story PictureFor the past week, twenty artists from eleven countries gathered at the Image Factory in Belize City to hear lectures and participate in debates and discussions on contemporary art. The event is called Landings Nine but it started with Landings One in Mexico in 2004 and since then has travelled around this hemisphere, made its way to Taiwan, and is now in Belize. Today the organisers held a press conference to explain what the project is all about. Kendra Griffith reports.

Artist, Landings Nine (Translated from Spanish)
“There are no other projects like landings in this region. This is why landings is so important.”

Kendra Griffith, Reporting
For the last four years, the contemporary art initiative known as Landings has been making its way around the world.

Yasser Musa, Artist
“Landings involves nine exhibitions, it’s a project that has taken five years by the time it will be completed next year March. It involves one forum which we completed this week here in Belize City, one curator, Joan Duran; nine full catalogue books that you can see from number one the red, number two the yellow, grey, green, blue, white and right up until the recent landings turquoise I think is the colour. Landings involves over fifty artists from three regions: the Caribbean, Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula. It involves artists that come from over fourteen countries.”

According to artist and curator, Joan Duran, Landings is an attempt to change society’s perception of art.

Joan Duran, Curator
“Who is supposed to fight for art? Engineers? The guys from public works? Health workers? No, we the artist are those that are supposed to be fighting and fighting, it means to create. Yesterday were talking about must we define a kind of a manual of what to do for young artists to confront society and get away with, to try to bend society to make sure that society understands that art is important.”

The project has impacted not only the over a hundred and fifty thousand visitors who attended the exhibitions, but also the artists involved in it.

Yasser Musa
“For me as an artist, this has been the most rewarding project of my artistic career. Why? Because for the first time, I was able to make contact and communicate with other artists from the region, Central America, the Caribbean, the Yucatan Peninsula; this has never happened before, not for me and not for Belize.”

Next year Landings will come full circle, but that doesn’t mean the concept will die.

Yasser Musa
“I have always advocated that at the end of the tenth Landings we pull the plug, we disconnect ourselves from our own nostalgia, from our own memory. This is for me—and I always try to tell this to younger artists—the most difficult thing about being an artist is your ability to remember. You have to try and disconnect that in order to look forward and I believe that once the dust has settled on all ten exhibitions, we will be able to regroup the next generation. Unfortunately, I am getting older now, but the next generation will be making better contemporary art and I am very confident they will be able to do that.”

Carriana Castillo, Artist (Translated from Spanish)
“This forum right here has been the last explosion to us starting to work on our own communities.”

The final Landings exhibition will be held in March 2009 in Badajoz, Spain. Kendra Griffith reporting for News Five.

No exhibition was curated for Landings Nine.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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