Great way to end the month and begin the March break here at the university! DOCTalks, an event aimed at “engaging, enlightening and empowering people and communities, with the goal of promoting deeper levels of understanding and creating sustainable change within society – locally and globally” has been on going since the 14th of February.
The 28th of February tagged “An evening of Bob Marley and Reggae”, captured the life of Marley from a documentary shown during the event. It explored Marley’s life and revealed the sociocultural effects his association with reggae had on the world as a whole. The night was brought to an end with a live performance by Dub Antenna, who through their performance paid tribute to influential reggae artists including Marley himself.
Nesta Robert “Bob” Marley was born in the remote Jamaican village of Nine Mile in 1945. His father, Norval Marley, was a white man. His mother, Cedella, was black. As mentioned by one of the interviewees when asked if Bob was teased for being mixed, he replied that he felt rejected by his peers whilst growing up. Although for him, it did not matter; rather than wallow in this rejection, he embraced a form of independence and social defiance, and a mission to bring people together in an inter-racial brotherhood. He grew up in extreme poverty, first in the countryside, then in the slums of Kingston’s Trenchtown. Trenchtown as mentioned by Marley and his friends was his major inspiration. It sparked his creativity, because everything and anything happened there with him witnessing it firsthand, and he was able to incorporate this into his love for music. Bob spoke of Trenchtown as being viewed as a place filled with hoodlums when he still lived there and he decided to change that, and now (the time of the interview) all sorts of talents had evolved. He emitted a sense of tranquility, believing that the purpose of life was to be happy and live in peace, love and unity. This was a major characteristic of the Rastafarian’s, which came to be seen as a religion. Their physical appearance and their actions were seen as very important to their identity, and showing this towards the society. His music carried so much meaning as the documentary shows, and spurred a lot of change in society. This made people realize that change was needed and want it in the society as much as Marley did.
Kevin Macdonald captures his story eventfully by thoroughly exploring Bob’s life and how his career progressed as a whole. It explores the number the influences on Bob Marley’s life as well. The documentary aims to understand the reason for Marley’s unending influence on the world, and it is indeed a very definitive collection and display of Bob Marley’s life in one location. This is a documentary that is going to have deeply resonating effects in the music community and the world in general.