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Aug 7, 2019

Belize Sends Delegation of Artists to CARIFESTA 2019

The Caribbean Festival of Arts, better known as CARIFESTA, has stimulated the establishment of a regional integration among Caribbean countries, bringing artisans and cultural practitioners together for more than four decades.  Participating countries have used various platforms within the event to promote local arts and culture, bringing rich, exciting, and provocative expressions of talent and skill to the world.  CARIFESTA 2019 will be hosted in Trinidad & Tobago and will showcase a diverse cultural display in visual and literary arts, storytelling, fashion, theater, dance, music, film and new media.  Belize has been taking part in CARIFESTA since 1972, attending thirteen events since then.  This morning, the National Institute of Culture and History, NICH, introduced a delegation that will be attending the upcoming festival.


Sapna Budhrani

Sapna Budhrani, President, NICH

“The Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA) has assumed a preeminent place among the elements that define and give expression to the uniqueness of our Caribbean reality, like other significant institutions such as cricket, CXC and CARICOM, that symbolizes a Caribbean commonality.  The festival reinforced our unity in the midst of splendid diversity.  This year’s theme focuses on both tangible and intangible aspects of cultural and heritage development and seeks to embody and facilitate the objectives of CARIFESTA.  With that being said, our team comprises of members from the Creole community, members from the visual artists community and also from, I believe the Garifuna is also going to be represented on the opening night and the Mayas will be represented through the visual on the opening night.”


Ilona Smiling

Ilona Smiling, Museum of Belize

“The artists that will be representing us in the visual arts portion are as follows: Keon Griffith, Crystal Lopez, Gayla Fuller, Roxanna Bradley, Ludwig Palacio, Briheda Haylock, Edgar Gomez and Rachel Heusner.  All these artists were chosen based on their continuous work in art in Belize and the type of art that they paint.  For example, Briheda Haylock uses her artwork to make statements on gender-based violence and violence against women.  We have Roxanna Bradley who is a new artist and while her paintings may depict flowers, what you’re seeing with her work is more of how her mind works.  The paintings that she paints are mostly detailed close-ups of specific parts of flowers, leaves or other mundane items that you would otherwise ignore, but the technique she uses to achieve her images makes it seems as though the image itself is moving.  We have Ludwig Palacio who is an artist from PG who does abstract art, all of his abstract art aren’t works that you could copy or be replicated.  When you look at it, you know that it’s a Ludwig Palacio piece.  So all of these paintings were chosen based on each artist’s expression, creativity and technique.”

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