Evans+Jaffe+editorial+final.pdf (189.52 kB)
Introduction: Representing Crime, Violence and Jamaica
journal contributionposted on 2019-04-12, 09:51 authored by L Evans, R Jaffe
The transformation of politically affiliated Jamaican gangs into transnational criminal organizations in the 1980s generated media reports that criminalized black masculinity and associated Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora in Europe and North America with a “culture of violence” (Scott 1997; Thomas 2011). This has continued into the twenty-first century with, for example, the media coverage of the Tivoli Gardens don and Shower Posse leader Christopher “Dudus” Coke’s arrest and extradition in 2010. Representations of “yardies” in film, popular music, fiction and investigative non-fiction have similarly often reinforced cultural, racial and sexual stereotypes (Murji 2009). These kinds of popular and media narratives of crime and violence in Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora have perpetuated what Paul Gilroy calls the myth of black criminality (1987, 118) and reinforced “imaginative geographies”, rooted in colonial perspectives, that “depict Jamaica as a lawless, criminogenic space” (Jaffe 2014, 159). In this special issue of Interventions we consider how representations of various kinds may reconfigure widespread associations of Jamaica with crime and violence. While these representations can contribute to the reproduction of stereotypical associations, they can also challenge dominant understandings by questioning and complicating assumptions around national and cultural identity, race, class, gender and sexuality, and by reframing the contexts and causes of crime in Jamaica and in the Jamaican diaspora. The essays collected here cover a wide range of representational forms and modes, including fiction, biography, film, photography, oral history, popular music, painting and street art.
CitationInterventions, International Journal of Postcolonial Studies Volume 22, 2020 - Issue 1: Representing Crime, Violence and Jamaica
Author affiliation/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of Arts
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)