Jamaican Sound System

Relationship: Im/migrant

Being Jamaican has waves of being en vogue. Jamaica itself is something of a global brand. As such, it is always a little strange to have emigrated and find myself amidst one of those peaks of popularity and to see the way that my culture is encapsulated for a foreign audience. Or, more accurately, my country's culture. The other aspect of this is Jamaica's unspoken class distinctions again silently coming through in a curated art exhibition. When I was growing up in Jamaica, I was raised very separate from the inner city and dancehall culture presented in the Museum of Art and Design's 'Jamaica Sound System'— only after moving abroad did I approach this side of Jamaica. It is part of the weird dynamic I now have with the place I was raised: explaining patois I have never learned to speak, highlighting issues that do not target my family. Here, in an utterly removed environment, I find myself amidst the crowd of foreign spectators, unable to relate fully to either.

Place(s): Kingston, New York City

– Rachel Chin

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant