Living Statues Festival in December

POSTED: 11/7/11 5:05 PM

St. Maarten – “Have you ever heard about the Living Statues? People who have experienced this phenomenon, mostly to be found in big cities, can tell you how nice and divers it is. History and culture will be exposed in a very unique, artistic way, all done by people of flesh and blood,” Beyond writing Foundation president Loekie Morales said in a press release issues this weekend.
The Beyond Writing Foundation is the initiator of the first Living Statues Festival in St. Maarten on Saturday 17 and Sunday December 18.
People will be body painted and will be exposed on ramps throughout the city, in such a way that passerby’s will ask themselves “is this a statue or not?” The statues can be part of a daily social scene, but also expose a historical hero, fairy tales figure etc.
“The first time I saw this phenomenon in the city of Paris and later in Barcelona, it grabbed my attention immediately in a particular way. Years after, I started to fantasize about this event for Sint Maarten, until 2009 when I decided to really make it happen,” Morales stated. “I immediately started my fact finding search on internet where I was flabbergasted by the many possibilities of exhibiting Living Statues. My ideas were soon transformed into plans and one of the first steps was to come into contact with the World Statues organization in Arnhem, The Netherlands and work together to create this event. Through this organization we can learn about the techniques, tools and whatever is necessary to make it really happen. And with research on St. Maarten’s and regional history, we can turn it into an event with a local Caribbean flavor,” Morales said.
Morales wrote an extended project plan with an estimated budget to explain potential sponsors about the phenomenon and the impact it can have for St. Maarten. In the beginning of 2011, she approached Arlene Halley, director of the Motiance Dance School and Urmain Dormois, director of the Philipsburg Community and Cultural Centre in Philipsburg to become partners of BWF in this event.
“St. Maarten can have an alternate tourist product. We want to promote culture and raise awareness on history. We simply want people to enjoy Sint Maarten in a different way. How can we let those elements come together in a way that tourist and locals can have fun? We would like to put Sint Maarten on a Regional Map of Tourist Destinations with more special events, but for now the Exhibiting of Living Statues all over in Philipsburg, mainly in the Front Street, will be the first way we do it,” Morales stated. Mrs. Halley of Motiance Dance School: “Our Board and staff are very enthusiastic about this project. We consider this as a new way to promote the island and its culture; therefore we are committed to give our full support and we hope to involve many of the students”.
The main activities the Living Statues project includes are:
Body painting workshop, costume preparing workshop and a moving/act and story telling as a Living Statue workshop. These will be conducted by the experts of the World Statues Foundation in the second week of December.
Show of Living Statues in Philipsburg on December 17 and 18.
Street muscians playing soft music (guitar, accordeon, flute etc.) in the neigborhood of the statues:
On Sunday, December 18, there is a statues catwalk. The Living Statues will be judged and there will be an award ceremony in front of the Courthouse or at PCCC. The first price winner will participate in the international Living Statues Festival in Holland next year.
A Pictures exhibition of Living Statues (the Philipsburg Community Cultural Centre) in the week of the Living Statues.
A Promotional movie of the Living Statues in Philipsburg. Schmink-/Body painting for kids during the exhibition of the statues.
“Sint Maarten can become the centre of the Caribbean for this event, therefore we need support from the private sector and NGO organizations to make this event as grand as possible, the people of Sint Maarten should be proud of living on this Island and being a part of innovative community initiatives,” Morales said.
To attend the workshops or to participate as a volunteer in the organizing team, subscription is open until November 15 at or contact: Mrs. Morales at 556 27 35 or Mrs. Halley at 524 04 41 for further information.
This Festival is made possible by donations of the Prins Bernhard Cultural Fund NA and Aruba, the Mondriaan Foundation and the government of St. Maarten (Tourist Bureau).

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