THIS WEEK: Reggae made it to the global cultural heritage list
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | UNESCO, a cultural agency of the United Nations, added reggae music to a list of international cultural treasures. The declaration, according to a news agency Reuters came during a meeting in Paris where they agreed that the Jamaican music that spread across the world with its calls for social justice, peace and love must be safe-guarded. Born in the poor neighbourhoods of Kingston in the 1960s, reggae reflected hard times and struggle but could also be joyous dance music with its distinctive off-beat.
It’s most famous songwriter and performer, the late Bob Marley, became a global superstar with hits like No Woman, No Cry and Get Up, Stand Up. Other notables include Jimmy Cliff and Toots and the Maytalls.
Artists such as the Clash incorporated its chunky beat and its politics into their own music, bringing it to a wider audience. It caught on from Britain to Brazil and Africa. “Its contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamics of the element as being at once cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual,” UNESCO said in a statement.