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IOJ to mount Rasta exposition

Tuesday, January 15, 2013    

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THE Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), in association with the Rastafarian community, will mount its first major material heritage exposition on the Rastafari movement in Jamaica on April 21, 2013.

The institute is, therefore, calling on the public for Rastarian materials through loan contracts.

The call is being organised by the Museums of History and Ethnography and is open to negotiations. Contracts will have an initial duration of one year for heritage objects and visual media, such as photographs and video recordings.

"The call for Rastafarian materials comes due to the fact that Jamaica is the major creator and storehouse of historic and cultural material relating to Rastafari. However, very little has been done to document its invaluable material heritage. As a result, there is little systematic collection of objects, memories, documents and memorabilia," says Dr Jonathan Greenland, director of the Museums of History and Ethnography Division at IOJ.

The objects being sought are:

* Historic documents;

* Historic and personal photographs;

* Clothing, jewellery and adornments;

* Craft items and artwork;

* Print material: journals, banners, posters, postcards, and invitations;

* Scrapbooks, diagrams and illustrations;

* Musical instruments;

* Furniture;

* Symbolic and ceremonial items;

* Health products, natural medicines, and recipes

Greenland further stated that this exhibition is of national importance because "in the 50 years of Jamaica's independence, the advocacy of Rastafari has engendered awareness among Jamaicans of the global African struggle. Today, their advocacy has become the strongest expression of our national consciousness."

The aim of the exhibition is to increase public awareness and appreciation of how the Rastafarian community has contributed to our cultural heritage, and earned international recognition with its philosophy, spirituality, politics, iconography, music, diet, and language.

The call for materials to support the exhibition includes documentation of the evolution of the Rastafari movement by way of audio - visual recordings of memories of citizens, who witnessed the events and interacted with the key proponents of the philosophy. Interested persons are asked to contact IOJ to participate in interviews and biographical recordings.

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