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Sep 5, 2012

Sounds of Freedom; Reggae and Dancehall Culture in the Caribbean

Carolyn Cooper

A recognized professor and lecturer of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus in Kingston Jamaica is in Belize for two distinguished lectures. Professor Carolyn Cooper is an expert in Reggae and Dancehall studies, as well as in the use of Creole/Jamaican Patois. The author of several publications, Professor Cooper will be sharing her knowledge of the two music genres that for decades have become a staple in Belizean entertainment. On Tuesday night, Professor Cooper made a presentation at the Bliss, Sounds of Freedom: Reggae and Dancehall Culture in the Caribbean. The next lecture is to be at the UB in Belmopan.


Professor Carolyn Cooper, Author & Lecturer of Cultural Studies

“What I am going to do at the University of Belize in Belmopan is to talk about music and development and just looking at the way in which music becomes an important means through which we can express our cultural identity. I think the people in Belmopan will be interested in what I have to say but I am also interested in learning how Belizean people are using music for development.”


Andrea Polanco

“What are some of the points that you hope Belizeans would take away from your presentation?”


Professor Carolyn Cooper

“One of the main points I’d like Belizean to get, is that creativity is not limited to any one culture or any one space. I know that reggae and dancehall started in Jamaica and have gone across the globe and I want Belizean people to embrace reggae and dance hall through their versions of it. To create music here that speaks to their particular reality because imitation goes only so far. I think the best thing that could be imitated out of Jamaican music, is the spirit that says, I am not gonna imitate but I’m gonna create my own music.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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3 Responses for “Sounds of Freedom; Reggae and Dancehall Culture in the Caribbean”

  1. Rod says:

    Yes sing bout all the murders happening in the country sing bout this lost generation of children in Belize yes sing bout this judas barrow and the worse gov. In the history of this nation hip hip hurray fu udp people di kill fu food now hip hip hurray fu judas barrow .

  2. Bear says:

    With money so scarce for education, it seems to me it could be spent better preparing students for some business or job, instead of how to appreciate reggae — which I do appreciate, and never took a class for it!

  3. Ixchel Pop says:

    I also hope that in her lectures that their is some opportunity to also discuss how dance-hall in its current form also degrades women; the more than overt message of daggering women, and seeing them as mere objects. There is also the use of dance-hall to spread homophobia an some of very same dance hall entertainers to which she canoodles with are the one most guilty of this behavior.

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