November 19 may have come and gone but the rich cultural history of the Garinagu needs more than one day to be celebrated. This Friday the Image Factory is opening an exhibit on Garifuna culture called “3X Focus.” It is a collection of photographs from a trio of Belizean Garifuna women: Myrtle Palacio, Helen Laurie and Barbara Norales. Mrs. Palacio and Mrs. Norales are Belizeans and Laurie, a half-Garifuna, half-Hispanic, resides in Los Angeles. Ms. Palacio spoke to us about the importance of the exhibition and her work.
Mrs. Myrtle Palacio- Belizean Garifuna of Los Angeles, USA
“For me, I just go thrown into photography in a way. I am very much aware of that. After retiring in 2008, I went back to school in 2009 to do this kind of education to improve my skills (you have to prepare yourself) an done of those was digital imaging because I need the photography as a a tool, collecting the information that I collect as a researcher; that is how I got catapulted into looking at the various cultural forms…for instance, the cassava baking process documented, but it becom es art because it becomes a photograph”.
Laurie’s work shows a wider range of Belizean and American life while for her first time exhibit, Norales chose “Artists in Motion,” real-time captures of the John Canoe (Wanaragua) and “Two-Foot Cow” dances in her native Dangriga at Christmas time. She takes us through the process that resulted in these stunning pictures.
Ms. Barbara Norales- Garifuna Photography Team Member
“This is in a Christmas day and they go house to house. So, this is actually happening at the house right now; that picture was taken at the house right now.
Reporter: “So, did you capture the immediacy?”
Ms. Barbara Norales: “It’s not that anybody posed for a picture. The only one that is posing is the John Cunu from Saint Bight and why I took them is because their crown is different from the one in Dangriga; if you notice, their crown is flambuoyant. They wear the flowers up down and even the way they wear their ribbons is different”.
The exhibition opens at 7:00 P.M. and entrance is free. Artist Nuru is the featured performer and food and drinks will be on sale.