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I’ve just got back from two packed and fabulous weeks in Kingston, on behalf of the CARISCC network, co-organised by myself and ‘H’ Patten (Canterbury Christchurch University).  Two highlights: a ‘Dancehall in/securities’ symposium, and a panel at the Global Reggae Conference.

The ‘Dancehall in/securities’ symposium took place on 3rd to 4th February, in kind collaboration with Dr Sonjah Stanley-Niaah, head of the Reggae Studies Unit of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus (UWI Mona).  The two-day event took place in the Old Dramatic Theatre on campus, and was catered deliciously by SCR Coffee Shop, on campus.  I want to thank all the participants for their generous and profound contributions, both as presentations and in a wide-ranging discussion.  A highlight was a lecture demonstration given by Orville Hall of Dance Expressionz, and special thanks go to Maria Smith for facilitating this.  Participants included:

Shelly ‘Xpressionz’ Callum (Dance Expressionz, Jamaica)

Carolyn Cooper (UWI Mona, Jamaica)

Orville Hall (Dance Expressionz, Jamaica)

Donna P. Hope (UWI Mona, Jamaica)

Dennis Howard (Independent Scholar, Jamaica)

MoniKa Lawrence (Independent Scholar, Jamaica)

Pat Noxolo (University of Birmingham, UK)

‘H’ Patten (Canterbury Christchurch University, UK)

Patsy Ricketts (Independent Artist, Jamaica)

Maria Smith (Independent Scholar, Jamaica)

Sonjah Stanley Niaah (UWI Mona, Jamaica)

L’Antoinette Stines (Independent artist, Jamaica)

Tia-Monique Uzor (De Montfort University, Leicester, UK)

Andrew Jackson (Independent artist, UK)

Plans are afoot for more collaboration, not least for an edited book.  Watch this space!

A few days later (9-11 February), ‘H’ and I presented a panel at the Global Reggae Studies Conference.  Here’s a link to a pdf of the paper I gave, which will appear in conference proceedings, noxolo-global-reggae-conference-full-paper.  Email me at p.e.p.noxolo@bham.ac.uk to send any comments or questions: it’s a work in progress. We participated in the whole of the three packed and fascinating days, and it’s left me with a lot to process.  We were privileged to be there for a closing ceremony that focused on the contribution of Professor Carolyn Cooper, as she heads towards an active retirement.

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In between the two events, we saw a number of people and sights.  It was great to catch up with Yonique Campbell, who gave a paper at our first network event in Birmingham, and she introduced me to a number of academics at the Institute for Criminal Justice and Security, who we hope will be involved with our third network event, based at UWI Mona, in January 2018.

We were also privileged to spend an afternoon at Orville Hall’s Dancehall Dream camp, watching his skilled facilitators teaching dancehall moves to enthusiastic participants from around the world, in the beautiful surroundings of Portmore.

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And just when we thought it was over, we went to Jimmy Cliff’s birthplace, and saw the great man presented with a lifelong achievement award from Irie FM!

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Thanks again to all. See you again soon I hope.

Pat Noxolo

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