There is a new art initiative in Belize City. Several young emerging artists have joined forces to show us Belize as seen through their lens and viewpoints. Arrrt Team and Youth Voices have collaborated efforts to showcase Imagine Nation at the Image Factory Art Gallery. The exhibit is sponsored by Reach, Research, Education and Advocacy for Social Change.
I got a sneak peak of some the works which will be exhibited in the Image Factory Art Gallery. I will admit, unabashedly, that these young artists have inspired me to reconsider and fortify my conceptual and graphic discourse. Confronted with the current crime wave that has washed the Belizean shores and continued inland, destroying and compromising every peaceful corner, like a tsunami, I was hardly inspired to make art, consume art or even discuss art.
These young artists have instead used the scarred, parched and violent wasteland as the materia prima to create some of the most powerful images and comics that I have seen this year. This is one show that each Belizean woman, man and child deserves to see. See and digest with ready eyes and ears.
Though we have verbalized our discontent with the violence in Belize, we have failed to address the greatest of all violences. We have allowed our youths’ education to become clouded by the fog of preoccupation for their general safety. We have allowed our nation to transform into one where their dreams have been replaced by nightmares, in which they dodge bullets. Education is still not free, though more and more Belizeans are faced with unemployment and their children's hope of higher education is dashed to the wind.
In the face of this dim reality which is a Belize City riddled with bullet holes, desperation and limited opportunities, it is beyond refreshing to see Belizean youth create art with powerful discourse- a peacefully imagined nation of sorts.
Imagine Nation opens Friday May 31, 2013 at 7pm and features a poetry performance by Youth Voices. The exhibit will run for one month.