Art Exhibition: Varala Maraj Reviews “Jamaica Hidden Histories”


I can hardly keep up with all the enthralling articles coming out in ARC Magazine, so I highly recommend a daily visit to that spectacular site. Today, I would like to share a review by Varala Maraj of the exhibition “Jamaica Hidden Histories” (JHH) at gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, London (UK), curated by Jamaican-born, UK-based Lorna Holder. This exhibition is on view until May 17, 2015.

As Maraj points out, the exhibition stems from years of ongoing archival research gathered from the UK and Jamaica, and the creation of new, original archives through workshops held with UK residents with Jamaican roots. The exhibition shows images documenting plantation life, post-emancipation days and the many ways that Jamaicans have flourished since independence.

Varala Maraj writes: “An ill-mannered young man who walks with pride and is up to no good might be the typical Jamaican ‘rudeboy’ image. The ‘rudeboys’, in addition to other popular Jamaican exports, like Bob Marley, Usain Bolt, Rastafarianism and jerk chicken, formed a stereotypical snapshot of Jamaican culture over the years. But like most stereotypes, we know that there is more to it than the media portrays. So what else is there? For Jamaica, the Caribbean island has such a culturally complex past that it seems only fitting to tell its story through an exhibition. This is the inspiration behind Full Spectrum Productions’ multimedia exhibition, Jamaica Hidden Histories (JHH).”

For full article, see

[Photo above: Maroon Boys collecting wood 1908. Image by H. H. Jonston.]

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