The UN has added reggae music to its list of international cultural treasures worthy of protection and promotion, with the organisation claiming that its globally popularity “continues to act as a voice for all”.
Jamaica applied for recognition of its musical tradition at a meeting of the UN in Mauritius this year. The purposes of the convention are to safeguard, ensure respect, raise awareness and provide for international cooperation and assistance.
The genre, which originated in 1960s Jamaica, played a pivotal role in heightening international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity. Its most famous songwriter and performer, the late Bob Marley, became a global superstar and cultural icon with hits like “No Woman, No Cry” and “Get Up, Stand Up”. Other notable artists include Toots and the Maytals.
Reggae music’s “functions as a vehicle of social commentary, as a cathartic experience, and means of praising God remain unchanged, and the music continues to provide a voice for all,” UNESCO said.
Check out Popcaan's performace at the 2016 MOBO Awards and accepance speech for Best Reggae Act below...
IMAGE CREDIT: Tracksimages.com—Alamy