of teenagers’ opinions being locked behind room doors, plastered with posters and keep out signs,
which were slammed shut after heated exchanges with their parents; the door has now been flung wide
Briheda Haylock and Ruhiel Trejo are the young artists featured in Image Factory’s most recent art
exhibition. The art which the artists display in this show are some of the strongest pieces I have seen in a
while. Society Killed the Teenager is definitely a step forward for visual art in Belize with its mixed media
pieces, graffiti and digital imaging prints.
I asked both artists how they feel about the outcome of the show. Briheda said she hopes that people
get the message. She wants to inspire people to be open and to be themselves. “I would hope that
people would not care as much about what others think and know that they have a choice to be unique.
They could be more open-minded to different genres of art and types of expression.”
“I want to inspire people to do the art that they want to do.” said Ruhiel.
Haylock, stating her view on art’s role in society, says art is communication not just for pleasurable use.
Art can be used to talk to people and is anti-propaganda. Trejo says that he would like people to create
beautiful pieces to put on walls all over the country. “You know, so that we wouldn’t only have ugly ads
to look at.”
The artist said that they have been receiving feedback on the art presented in the show already. Briheda
said that she has felt a lot of judgement from the interviewers. “I notice that they only focus on the
depression pieces. They didn’t even look at the love, life and relationship pieces. I think the media feels
that I am craving or seeking attention.” What’s wrong with craving attention?
“I’m not craving attention” said Briheda “I’m just evidencing the ignored topics. Most people when they
realize that someone is depressed don’t even bother to find out why that person is depressed. They are
satisfied with their assumptions.”
Ruhiel says that that the feedback that he has received has been good, bad and indifference. I asked him
which response he liked best.
“Good and bad. I don’t like indifference. I don’t want anyone to leave the show not feeling anything at
all. There are ideas discussed in each piece, if you are indifferent it means that you have no ideas, and
that would be bad.”
The art presented in Society Killed the Teenager may shock, anger or even amuse you; it will most
definitely provoke strong emotions. More important than the provocation however is the fact that the
youths are speaking, will we listen?