Thirty-five Belizean artists will join delegations from other CARICOM countries at the XI Carifesta in Paramaribo, Suriname, from Friday, August 16 to Sunday, August 25, where they will be showcasing every aspect of Belizean culture and art.
Belize has been participating in Carifesta since its inception in 1972, traditionally in music and dance, and this year is no exception with the Belize National Dance Company putting their best foot forward.
The Galen Eagles Band, which includes members of the Garifuna Collective just back from their successful tour of Canada and the United States, will be performing all the musical genres that make up Belizean culture, “brukdong” as well as punta and paranda.
For theatre drama, Belizean actors Jael August, Carson Perrote, Rushelle Babb and Alexander Viveiros will perform their production “My Body is Precious”.
This year’s delegation includes not just the performing arts but also a fashion section led by Jackie Castillo, and including fashion designer Joris Hendrik-Groennendaal and jewelry designer Khadija Assales, and artisans Aurelio Sho and Adelia Ishim.
Belizean authors of prose and poetry will be represented by Felene Cayetano who will man a Belize booth, which will be open the entire two weeks of Carifesta, with brochures and all manner of cultural information about Belize.
Shelby Castillo represents Belize’s film production and media arts and Karen Vernon of the Institute of Culture and Arts heads the delegation.
While Carifesta began with just CARICOM countries participating, this year’s festival includes several delegations form the Union of South American nations, UNASUR, and the Central America Integration System (SICA). In all, 23 nations will be represented. This year’s theme is “Culture for Development: Celebrating our diversity and promoting the central role of culture in economic, social and human development”.
The President of the National Institute of Culture and History, Diane Haylock will represent Belize, deputizing for the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hon. Manuel Heredia. The delegation left Belize on Wednesday, August 14, and is due back in Belize on August 27.