Rastafari After Coral Gardens
Drs. Deborah A. Thomas and John L. Jackson, Jr.
Dr. Deborah A. Thomas, Dr. John L. Jackson, Jr., Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn, and Junior “Ista J” Manning
Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn
• Sinclair Auditorium
This event meets the 5 x 10 requirement for Identity Development
Africana Studies & Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Co-Sponsors: Global Studies, and Department of Sociology & Anthropology
About the Film
“For many around the world, Jamaica conjures up images of pristine beach vacations with a pulsating reggae soundtrack. The country, however, also has one of the highest per
capita murder rates in the world, and the population is actively grappling with legacies of Western imperialism, racial slavery, and political nationalism – the historical foundations of contemporary violence in Jamaica and throughout the Americas. BAD focuses on a community of Rastafarians in western Jamaica who annually commemorate the 1963 Coral Gardens “incident,” a moment just after independence when the Jamaican government rounded up, jailed and tortured hundreds of Rastafarians. It chronicles the history of
violence in Jamaica through the eyes of its most iconic community, and shows how people use their recollections of past traumas to imagine new possibilities for a collective future.”
Deborah Thomas is co-director and co-producer BAD . She is also Professor and Chair of the Graduate Group in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of "Modern Blackness: Nationalism, Globalization, and The Politics of Culture in
Jamaica", "Exceptional Violence: Embodied Citizenship in Transnational Jamaica", and co-editor of the volume "Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness". Prior to her life as an academic, she was a professional dancer with the New York-based Urban Bush Women.
Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn is producer and musical director, BAD
. Wedderburn is an accomplished percussionist who has performed and recorded with a variety of well-known reggae artistes, and who has also composed percussive scores for dance. His own percussion group, Ancient Vibrations, founded in 1986, presents traditional Afro-Jamaican rhythms and chants, the roots of reggae music. Wedderburn has played with The Lion King on Broadway since it began development in 1997. Principle among these forms are kumina (African-derived
spiritual tradition that is most commonly practiced in the eastern parishes of St. Thomas and Portland ) and nyabinghi. (The nyabinghi drumming
tradition is part of the communal meditative practice of Rastafari in Jamaica) and by presenting these forms to popular audiences, Ancient Vibrations seeks to keep the roots of reggae music alive.
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