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The Rototom Reggae University Camp

By August 6, 2015Articles

The Rototom Reggae University Camp delves into reggae and Rastafarian culture with Jamaican and European guests

Benicassim,  16/08/2014 - Sunsplash 2014 - Reagge University - Photo by Violeta Palazon © Rototom 2014

Benicassim, 16/08/2014 – Sunsplash 2014 – Reagge University – Photo by Violeta Palazon © Rototom 2014

The sessions will analyze dancehall from its roots and the power of reggae to cross borders with important artists from the festival such as Super Cat, the dancehall icon, and Bunny Wailer, founder of the Wailers along with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.

Exhibitions, audio visual premieres, talks and workshops with artists and producers, as well as seminars to enrich our knowledge on Rastafarian mysticism complete the programme for this thematic area.

The Rototom Sunsplash Reggae University, due to be held August 15 to 22 in Benicassim, will once again reflect upon the past, the present and the future of reggae, in dialogues with key artists of the festival and respected authors, academics and cultural activists.

The programme begins on August 15 with a double session to analyze the evolution of dancehall from roots reggae with Josey Wales and Brigadier Jerry; and later it will be Super Cats turn, he is that artist who through his music and his shows has made dancehall and raga muffin popular worldwide.



August 16 we step back to the years when reggae was in its initial stages with The Pioneers; August 17 Bunny Wailer will visit the Reggae University, the sole surviving member of the Wailers, which he founded together with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh; and on Tuesday 18 Clinton Fearon, from the Gladiators will talk about the most decisive moment for roots reggae.

On the 19 Cham will take the public through the emotions of contemporary dancehall together with the Jamaican professor Sonjah Stanley-Niaah (University of the West Indies). The power of reggae to cross boarders will be addressed in the session with Mellow Mood and their producer, Paolo Baldini, where they will take a look at the Dub Files and their work in Jamaica (Friday 21).

The final session (22 August) will address the complex situation of the contemporary arts scene in Jamaica as told by members of the band Uprising Roots and representatives of the collectives Nanook and Paint Jamaica. Indeed, it is thanks to the collaboration with Nanook that the Reggae University will host a collective exhibition with works from nine young Jamaican artists.

The book launch of Reggae Roadblocks, by Lloyd Stanbury, expert music and art lawyer and the cofounder of the Jamaican radio station Irie Fm, will close the programme on August 22.

Eight premieres ready for the Film Festival
The Film Festival, dedicated to promoting the most recent audiovisual productions, celebrates its third edition by premiering eight documentaries from France, Germany, Israel, Jamaica and the US.

The French production Watt Town: Holy songs from Jamaica, by Stephan Delphin, will open the screenings on August 15. The film tells how the rhythms of Zion Revival, one of the religions native to Jamaica, have in recent times turned to dancehall. Another film, Dreadlocks Story (US) by Linda Aïnouche that can be seen on August 18, discusses the connection between Rastafarian culture and Hindu beliefs.

Sunday 16 Tell the children the truth, by Amanda Sans and Miquel Galofré, produced by Fernando García-Guereta from Madrid, analyzes the degradation of the concept of family in Jamaica and its social consequences. The next day, August 17, the film Congo beat the drum, by Ariel ‘Kalbata’ Tagar, narrates the journey of two musicians from Tel Aviv to the ghettos of Kingston to record anologue of old rub-a-dub stars.


The Film Festival this year also presents two monographs: Rodigan-A reggae life (August 19) takes us for the first time through the career of the legendary English selector David Rodigan MBE to be published next year; and then there is Lee Scratch Perry’s Vision of Paradise by Volker Schaner, a poetic narrative about the legendary producer and dub inventor, which can be seen on Friday 21.

Kingston crossroads, by the Germans Jonas Schaul and Oliver Becker (Thursday 20), and Movement of Jah People, another production by Fernando García-Guereta (Saturday 22) will guide the audience through modern day Kingston to get to know artists and roots musicians and the variety of urban art, dance and poetry that make the Jamaican capital such a vibrant place.

ACR Meetings: the Asociación Cultural Reggae celebrates its 15th anniversary
The Asociación Cultural Reggae (ACR) has programmed six activities, with talks and workshops to spread reggae culture in Spanish.

On Sunday 16 they will present three recently launched books in Spain: Bass Culture, by Lloyd Bradley, Catarsis Rocksteady, by Lutxo Perez, and La Leyenda de Sugar Minott y Youth Promotion, by Beth Lesser, and on Monday 17 there will be a double session of documentaries with the screening of The Gramophone All Stars: Jazzmaica, in which will participate members of the band; and from Reggae is a Mission to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the ACR.


On Thursday 20 the artists who will perform the Cantando a Marley, Bob Marley tribute show on Main Stage will analyze the influence of reggae and Marley on their music and their experiences while preparing the special concert in homage to the Jamaican legend.

Members of the sound systems One Blood, King Horror, Fire Warriors and Urtica Sound will give the audience a closer look at the world of dubplate on August 21. Furthermore a workshop has been organized on music production facilitated by Roberto Sánchez and Genís Tranis and another to learn how to prepare and make a dub track with live musicians facilitated by Charlart5, sound engineer for the band Green Valley.

Seminars on the Rastafarian faith and movement
The House of Rastafari is back. The space dedicated to the mystical society related to reggae. The area will host a bookshop, an exhibition by the Argentinian Sil Cunnigham, celebrations with nyabinghi percussion and a re-collection of funds for various projects in Shashamane (Ethiopia).

Furthermore, the collective will present several seminars with the Jamaican elder Ras Flako, who is considered to be one of the historic experts on the movement and the struggle for black liberation.

Rototom SunSplash

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