From Rudeboy to Shotta @ Reggae University 2008

13 julio 2008

Lecture, film-shoots and selected music with Dr. MARLENE CALVIN.

The 1980 General Election, in which more than 800 Jamaican citizens lost their lives, is constantly referred to as a shocking indicator of the endemic violence plaguing Jamaican society. However, Jamaica’s cultural commentators often ignore the fact that since the mid-1990s onward, the murder rate has more than doubled and is still rising by the day – a reality that is often mirrored in Jamaican cultural expressions such as movies and song lyrics. Marlene Calvin will start off her session with a short summary of the history of violence in Jamaica in order to provide a relevant context for her talk. She will then compare the movies “The Harder They Come” and “Shottas” to show how violence/violent expressions changed with the times. She will also define the terms “rudeboy” and “shotta” to compare both “images”, before exploring several major influences that are crucial to the development of violence in Jamaica, e.g. the political system of clientilism, American cinematic representations in Western films, the problem of Jamaican criminals in the US being deported to their home country etc., etc. Additionally, Calvin will show excerpts of the movies “The Harder They Come” and “Shottas” and will also play some relevant music to underscore her thesis.

Marlene Calvin was born in Hanover, Jamaica and studied English and Art History at the Heinrich Heine University in Duesseldorf, where she has resided since 1989. She recently finished her dissertation on „Diasporic Lives: Alienation and Violence as Themes in African American and Jamaican Cultural Texts”, where she also took a close look at Jamaican movies.

15* Rototom Sunsplash 2008
Jul 3-12 Osoppo Italy