Time and memory

Sarah Dayens

in Time and Memory in Reggae Music

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780719076213
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702116 | DOI:
Time and memory

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Reggae music transmits a multi-leveled memory that relates to historical knowledge – from anti-slavery icons in Jamaica to apartheid in South Africa – but also to religious knowledge: through its close association to the Rastafari movement. In reggae music, memory now appears as a complex process. Indeed, the construction of a ‘time-memory’ mobilises an articulation of both historical and mythical times: a continuity is built between the mythical origin and the present, between the mythical origin and the apocalyptic future, and, ultimately, between religious utopia and profane utopia. This book has shown that reggae music conveys a narrative of the past, which gives the latter a fundamental function in shaping the present. However, this ‘past’ quickly took on a both sacred and profane dimension. The eschatology is not, in the case of reggae music, something that is far away and separate from the present: to a certain extent, it overflows the sacred plane and spills into the profane, historical plane. The book has also articulated three concepts: tradition, revolution and revelation.

Keywords: reggae; memory; time; Jamaica; Rastafari movement; profane; sacred; eschatology; revolution; revelation

Chapter.  13064 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Media Studies

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