As went to print, the European leaders were begging Silvio Berlusconi to do something to prevent Italy, and Europe, from falling apart. We nearly died laughing at that. It’s a one-way process, like Humpty Dumpty falling off the wall. We wonder sometimes: Did none of these world leaders ever hear about reggae music? Did they not hear about the fall of Babylon? – Ronan Lynch, Editor. Read more
Let’s face it, few governments or institutions devote themselves to celebrating or preserving reggae music, leaving the work to a few enterprising individuals. Rogers Steffens, archivist, educator and historian, tells Irie Up about his longtime devotion to preserving the legacy of the Wailers and his own mission in reggae music. more in issue 12
Linton Kwesi Johnson is another man apart in the reggae world, and the artist who almost single-handedly invented the genre of dub poetry.When Darcus Howe appeared on Sky News to talk about the London riots this summer, LKJ’s poetry immediately came into our heads: what Bartek Wojcik calls The Black London Verses of Civil Protest. In this issue, Wojcik takes a detailed look at a crucial poet whose message was rarely heeded in England, or Jamaica. more in issue 12
In the last two weeks of September, we installed the Reggae Movement Exhibition in the dancehall at Yaam, a wonderful location to launch the exhibition.
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The soundsystem is at the heart of the reggae movement.
In word, music and pictures, the exhibition follows the story of the soundsystem from Jamaica in the 1950s to the UK in the 60s and 70s, and then to Europe. The soundsystems gave birth to ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, dancehall, hip-hop, jungle and drum and
bass – and taught nations and generations how to dance!
Jamaican artist Freestylee illustrates the story with additional artwork by Mau Mau. more in issue 11