“Dancehall a mi boss a nuh reggae”

I am constantly challenged about my interest in Vbyz Kartel. Why would I spend so much time and effort exploring someone like him? I “feel Addi” and this is a feeling which is revealing his spirit, his essence. Perhaps in my commitment to understand the fabric of Jamaica, I have found in Addijah a gateway to understanding the experience of the black/African man in Jamaica, particularly those who emerge in dancehall spaces. I am convinced that Addijah Palmer can teach us a lot about ourselves and a lot about the power of art. Addi can teach us a lot about seeing and understanding the deeper meaning behind things. He can show us how this is especially difficult to do when you come from the dancehall and you are a black male youth from the ghetto in Jamaica.
Through exploring the spirit of Addi’s work I have started to learn what it means to create from dancehall or from the black space that occupies the bottom of society, inner city, ghetto, poverty. I am now learning what it means to become in and speak through dancehall, I am beginning to understand the nuances of African imagination and creativity which manifest in song, dance and performance. I am beginning to appreciate the treatment of identity and self-determination in the dancehall. I am beginning to see the memory of Africa, I am beginning to see the spirit of things. The spirit of dancehall. Dancehall is now educating me.

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About afifa

dj. artist. creative director and co-founder of the SO((U))L HQ and DI Institute for Social Leadership. I make ritual spaces.

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