Exceptional Violence – Exhibit – Book – Film – Discussion – Refreshments
Sunday, March 4, 2012, 2pm – Non-Fiction
Exhibit – Book – Film – Discussion – Refreshments
An InterActive Panel Discussion with
Deborah A. Thomas, John Jackson, Theodore Harris
|Whether it’s Philadelphia or Kingston Jamaica, people often talk about contemporary urban struggles within the idiom of culture. They say we have a “culture of violence,” one that infiltrates other areas of the city and, through migration, the world. What if we talked about violence as a structural phenomenon rather than a cultural one? What sorts of histories would we have to lay bare? What sorts of un-examined connections would we have to unearth? How would it make us think about contemporary inequality?
|The Exhibit: Art work by Theodore Harris, whose art graces the cover of the book and the DVD of the film, plus art from Jamaica – Theodore A. Harris – Collagist – “There is a clarity and cleanness to his craftsmanship which heighten the ideational projection the image sprays at us. At times, visual images actually seem to “say” out loud what maybe we knew or need to know. He tells us about the peoples’ struggles, world wide, against oppression and exploitation. Our lives under racism and the twisted rule of capital.” – Amiri Baraka
|The Book: Exceptional Violence: Embodied Citizenship in Transnational Jamaica by Deborah A. Thomas ($23.95 Duke University Press) – “Exceptional Violence is at once methodologically astute, richly researched, and critically engaged. In reframing the historical object of violence in Jamaica, she enables us to see hitherto obscured dimensions of its embodied constitution as social practice and social imaginary, its relation to citizenship and gender, the state and community, racial subjectivities and transnational migrations. It is a fine achievement.”—David Scott, Columbia University – Thomas is Professor and Chair of the Graduate Group in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Modern Blackness: Nationalism, Globalization, and The Politics of Culture in Jamaica, Exceptional Violence: Embodied Citizenship in Transnational Jamaica, and co-editor of the volume Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness.
|The Film: Bad Friday: Rastafari After Coral Gardens (2011), a compelling documentary that chronicles the history of violence against Rastafarians in Jamaica. Produced and directed by John Jackson, Jr. and Deborah Thomas, along with Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn and Junior “Ista J” Manning, Bad Friday focuses on a community of Rastafarians in western Jamaica who annually commemorate the 1963 Coral Gardens incident, a moment just after the island’s independence, when the Jamaican government rounded up, jailed and tortured hundreds of Rastafarians. The documentary recounts the poignant history of violence in Jamaica through the eyes of its most iconic community and shows how people use their recollections of past traumas to imagine new possibilities for a collective future. – John L. Jackson, Jr. – Producer and Co-Director – is Richard Perry University Professor of Communication and Anthropology at the U of P. He has produced several fiction and non-fiction films, features and shorts. He is the author of Harlemworld: Doing Race and Class in Contemporary Black America, Real Black: Adventures in Racial Sincerity, and Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness.