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Jul 14, 2014

Artists stage creative interventions at Noh Mul

The case against U.D.P. standard bearer Denny Grijalva and others was adjourned again today in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court. Grijalva is being charged in connection with the destruction of Noh Mul, the largest natural monument in Orange Walk District. It was in May of 2013 that it was discovered that the monument had been grazed for material for road construction. While that case remains before the court, a group of artists to stage creative interventions at the location over the weekend. Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Since the destruction of Noh Mul over a year ago, there hasn’t been finality on who should be held responsible for the irreparable damage done to the ancient Maya site.  On Saturday, an expedition of young Belizean artists, led by Yasser Musa, journeyed to the Orange Walk District where several creative interventions were staged at the location.


Yasser Musa, Art Instructor

Yasser Musa

“Four main artistic acts, I would say, occurred.  One, myself, I took a copy of the Landings book, a four hundred and sixty-five page book which we published last year, the same year of the destruction of Noh Mul which involved artists from the region, visual artists and I buried it there along with the other artists, as a kind of ironic statement about putting back knowledge into something that has been destroyed.  It’s metaphorical.”


Equally as figurative was the interment of Kate Usher’s academic achievements.  The ad hoc funeral ceremony served as means of ridding herself of educational history.


Yasser Musa

“The young artist, Kate Usher, she and a few others went to the top of Noh Mul and she buried her credentials—her St. Catherine’s Academy transcripts, her junior college transcripts, her art school transcripts, her school transcripts that schools accepted her, but she couldn’t afford to go to school—in a kind of powerful act of self-discovery meaning that she was saying that in this sacred powerful space, Noh Mul, she was declaring that her education was valueless compared to the attitude we are taking as a society towards valuable things. And then the young artist, Micah Vernon, he did an amazing political work of art, where he took a poster that said, “Welcome to Las Vegas” and the word Vega was highlighted. Obviously, it is no secret that Noh Mul is in the political constituency of the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and we know he didn’t make any big fuss or major condemnation about such a thing or pushed for a swift case to be made for something like this to never happen again. As a matter of fact, he stood as the Deputy Prime Minister on the stage with the man, Denny Grijalva, a few months ago.

Denny Grijalva

Denny Grijalva was endorsed as the political aspirant for the ruling party’s, I think, Orange Walk Central. So it is a kind of a very sick joke that you have the man that is being accused of doing such a thing—or his company—being endorsed and celebrated by the Deputy Prime Minister where in his constituency, Vega’s constituency, this thing occurred. So there cannot be a more extreme example of cultural murder in my view than that.”


On May thirteenth, 2013, it was discovered that the largest structure at Noh Mul was almost completely destroyed.  Heavy equipment owned by Demar Construction, a business registered to politician Denny Grijalva, was used in the destruction of the site.  That matter was to have been heard in court today.  Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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1 Response for “Artists stage creative interventions at Noh Mul”

  1. H@tari says:

    He’s a politician. Even if they convict him (and I’m sure they won’t), what will he get? A $50 fine. This really, really sucks!

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