The Bob Marley Cultural Collective hosted a two-day festival in Kochi to introduce their audience to the legend’s politics
Reggae fans in Kochi were in for a crash course on politics recently. On 11 and 12 May, the Bob Marley Cultural Collective, a group of Left-leaning youngsters, decided to throw a two-day festival to commemorate the legend’s death anniversary and introduce their audience to the politics behind his music. “We conducted the programme in the backdrop of the Dalits and the oppressed getting up and standing up to fight the centuries old injustices towards them. Bob Marley always sang for the oppressed. Twenty-eight years may have passed since Bob Marley, the singer of the downtrodden, died. But the resonances it created are still strong enough to rekindle memories that struggle against forgetfulness,” says Jason Cooper, member of the collective. Along with discussion on the challenges of the cultural sphere, there were plays, a mix of folk and revolutionary songs by local groups and a screening of the documentary Rebel Music— the Bob Marley Story. Suresh Badal, programme convenor, said that it’s the political developments in the contemporary world that make the memories of Marley all the more relevant.