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» BREAKING NEWS, Featured » PROFESSOR DONNA HOPE TO LAUNCH THE “DANCEHALL ARCHIVE AND RESEARCH INITIATIVE” APRIL 20!

PROFESSOR DONNA HOPE TO LAUNCH THE “DANCEHALL ARCHIVE AND RESEARCH INITIATIVE” APRIL 20!

BY RICHARD JOHNSON

Observer senior reporter—

 Professor Donna Hope —

OVER the last 20 years Professor Donna Hope has become known for her academic work researching and documenting dancehall culture, but in a few weeks she will launch what is possibly her most ambitious project yet the Dancehall Archive and Research Initiative.

She explained that the aim is to create a central repository of information on the whole culture spawned by dancehall music, which had its heyday in the 1980s, 90s and into the early years of the new milennium.

“Jamaica has given birth to so many music forms mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae and dancehall. Like all the early music forms, I see dancehall leaving us. All the information is leaving us and now resides outside of Jamaica — Europe and North America — and I want to do my part to protect dancehall, which is my passion. In my work at the University of the West Indies I find that there is nowhere my students can go to readily find information on this rich slice of our musical history and heritage.”

“We are at a crucial point and so it is critical that we act immediately to source, document and preserve the information before it gets lost,” she added.

Dr. Donna Hope

Dr. Donna Hope

Hope will launch the initiative on April 20 at the Neville Hall Lecture Theater in the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the UWI, Mona campus. She aims to facilitate and encourage the pursuit of art, culture, research and scholarship development around dancehall culture. Its website, slated to be officially launched at this event, will provide a key point of contact, as well as information about seminal and ongoing dancehall works and the activities and projects being undertaken by the DHA Team. It will act as a resource for all who seek to know about, develop, build, preserve, and represent dancehall culture globally.

“Initially the project will be virtual, through our website.But it is our hope that with time we can attract funding which will see a physical home being established for the dancehall archives.

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