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Westminster hosts Bass Culture 70/50 - UK’s largest Jamaican music expo, highlighting Windrush’s impact on Britain

Music 24 October 2018

Bass Culture

Bass Culture 70/50 is a four-week exhibition exploring the impact of Jamaican and Jamaican-influenced music on British culture, taking place in Ambika P3 from 25 October-22 November.

Bass Culture 70/50 is a four-week exhibition exploring the impact of Jamaican and Jamaican-influenced music on British culture, taking place in Ambika P3 from 25 October-22 November.

The exhibition will feature previously unseen artwork, specially commissioned film, top industry speakers, UK reggae label pop-up showcases, live performances, and over 70 hours of individual testimonials, linking – for the first time – the memories and experiences of black British musicians, industry practitioners, academics and audiences.

Two exclusive interactive events will be part of Bass Culture 70/50 for the public to take part in. The first, a ‘Rude Boy Catwalk’, invites attendees to come dressed as they were when they first experienced a gig influenced by Jamaican music, be it ska or reggae, jungle or grime. Taking place on Friday 9 November, the collaborative catwalk will be the first of its kind to reflect on five decades of fashion inspired by these genres.

The second will be a mini film festival that will premiere ‘Bass Culture’, a 60-minutes documentary mapping the impact of Jamaican music from a youth perspective.

The exhibition is staged by Bass Culture Research, a three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project set up to explore the impact of Jamaican music in the UK. The project made headlines last year after publishing The Grime Report, which led to the withdrawal of Form 696, a controversial risk assessment form criticised for being discriminatory and targeting genres such as grime.

Mykaell Riley, Principal Investigator and Director of the Bass Culture Music Unit at the University of Westminster, said: “This is the story of the soundtrack to multiculturalism, a hidden history that is still impacting on new music.”

Commenting on the exhibition, acclaimed Jamaican dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, said: “This is British history.”

Partners of the exhibition include the AHRC, Black Cultural Archives, British Library, SOAS, Goldsmiths University, Urbanimage and Camera Press, Fully Focused.

Find out more about Bass Culture 50/70 and book your free ticket here.

Find out more about the Westminster’s Black Music Research Unit.

Cover picture: Linton Kwesi Johnson & Darcus Howe (credit: Adrian Boot)


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