This year, Rototom Sunsplash has changed venues. It no longer takes place in Ossopo, Italy. Its new home is Benicassim, Spain. The largest reggae festival in Europe features ska, reggae and dancehall acts, scholars and DJs sometimes in performance at the microphone and at others in speaker’s fora of various kinds. One such fora is the Reggae University.
I am particularly fascinated by the scope and unique features of this festival which is a site for investigation in my current research project. Broadly speaking, the University is organized as a “series of meetings to discuss important moments in the history of reggae music, together with journalists, writers, Dee jays and artistes. A real forum on the past, present and future of reggae music, analysing the influence and evolution of this music style, as well as its social, political and spiritual impact.” The collective that organizes the sessions comprises – David Katz, internationally renowned American writer and journalist; Ellen Koehlings & Pete Lilly, who represent Riddim magazine in Germany; and Pier Tosi, eminent reggae expert from Italy. What a collective!
Well well…this year I spoke about the many spaces, places and faces of dancehall along with Tony Matterhorn, Ellen Koehlings, Sick in Head and Chiquituta, all of whom I give nuff respect! I focused on my new book – DanceHall: From Slave Ship to Ghetto (2010, University of Ottawa Press). Check out the link for the reggae university: http://www.rototomsunsplash.com/en/programme/beyond-music/reggae-university
In the meantime till I see you again online, enjoy the hottest single on the scene – ‘Hold You’ by Gyptian. What a wicked forward march for this talented artist!