JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) kicked off its 2019 Grounation series on Sunday (February 3), with a discussion session on the music and culture of dancehall.
  • The event was held at the entity’s headquarters at East Street, downtown Kingston.
  • Grounation, organised by the Jamaica Music Museum (JMM) at the IOJ, is an educational and cultural community outreach programme held annually to commemorate Reggae Month.

The Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) kicked off its 2019 Grounation series on Sunday (February 3), with a discussion session on the music and culture of dancehall.

The event was held at the entity’s headquarters at East Street, downtown Kingston.

Grounation, organised by the Jamaica Music Museum (JMM) at the IOJ, is an educational and cultural community outreach programme held annually to commemorate Reggae Month.

This year’s focus is on dancehall, under the theme ‘As free as we want to be: Dancehall – a Liberating Ethic’, and activities will be held every Sunday in February at the IOJ’s Lecture Hall starting at 2:00 p.m.

Deputy Executive Director of IOJ, Nicole Patrick-Shaw, in her remarks at the opening ceremony, said the time is right for a debate on dancehall, “so we can understand (its) liberating ethic”.

She noted that the IOJ had received numerous requests from young people “who had enjoyed the information and knowledge from previous Grounations” for focus to be placed on the genre.

Patrick-Shaw said that dancehall, which originated in the late 1970s, borrows from other forms of Jamaican music, including mento, ska, dub, rocksteady and reggae, and is part of the country’s intangible cultural heritage.

Grounation continues on February 10 with a talk, entitled, ‘Bleaching, Piercing, Tattooing and the altered Dancehall body’ featuring panellists Lisa Tomlinson, Stephan Clarke, Ce’Cile, and Shawna Chin, while on February 17, discussions will focus on ‘Dancehall

Stardom: version 1 – Crime, Justice and Punishment with presenters Sonjay Stanley Niaah, Michael Dawson, Heavy D and Donna Hope.

The discussion session continues on February 24 with panellists Cordel Green, Carlene Smith, Robin Clarke and Chris Charles tackling the topic ‘Dancehall Stardom: Version 2 – Crime, Justice and Punishment’.