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Time and Memory in Reggae MusicThe Politics of Hope$
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Sarah Daynes

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719076213

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719076213.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

Time and memory

Time and memory

Chapter:
(p.231) 13 Time and memory
Source:
Time and Memory in Reggae Music
Author(s):

Sarah Dayens

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719076213.003.0014

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

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