It was 40 years ago when I found myself in Jamaica for the first time, drawn to that glorious burst of musical expression emerging from that Little Big Country. The result was the film “Rockers” and with it, a deep bond with the music and what the music represented to the people who were making it. An astonishing array of talent giving expression to a new cultural awareness that was instantly recognized and understood by people the world over.
Reggae was the music that was heard far and wide because it carried with it the aspirations of a new generation determined to stand on its own two feet and be counted. Reggae was and will always be the music of the “I,” the “I” of “I am here.” It gladdens my soul to see a whole new generation from all different places around the world adopting Reggae as the vehicle that could carry their own reality.
But nothing had prepared me for the truly astonishing display of visual artistry that I saw when Mike Thompson and Maria Papaefstathiou introduced me to the International Reggae Poster Exibition, and it is thanks to their tireless efforts that we can all enjoy these brilliant visual testaments to the Reggae music and its culture. I will die a happy man knowing that the flame that was lit in Jamaica then is still burning bright now. That the “I” of creation is spreading its wings all over the earth. Only music can do that, with the lyrics and the dance and the heros to praise and the good spirits to please. And the youth to bring up. The music that has been traveling through the ages with the uprooted of this earth as it passes undetected through the moral defenses of the powers that be and seeds itself in the most unlikely places. Encouraging disobedience… making parents hysterical… giving hope to the hopeless… the music that fills the soul with fortitude and patience as it awaits serenely the certain victory to come.
Ted Bafaloukos, Director of “Rockers”