• Janae Hyman

Global Reggae Conference Pays Tribute to The Harder They Come

The Institute of Caribbean Studies and the Reggae Studies Unit at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, along with the Perry Henzell Estate, are pleased to announce the 7th Global Reggae Conference, February 16 -19. Themed 'Reggae Films, Reggae Icons, Reggae Music,' to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Harder They Come release. The Harder They Come, considered the Jamaican version of Robin Hood and based on the primary character of the 'Reggae musician turned outlaw hero,' was released on June 6, 1972, and quickly became a cult film worldwide. The Harder They Come was number 174 in the 2020 Rolling Stones list of the greatest 500 film soundtracks.

The Harder They Come soundtrack has also been added to the Library of Congress collection, making it the second reggae album to be included after The Wailer's 'Burnin'.

The Harder They Come, Jamaica's first feature film, was produced and directed by Perry Henzell and co-written by Trevor D. Rhone. It is most known for its reggae music, the creation of icons, and its depiction of Jamaican society. Not only did the picture popularize reggae music throughout the world, but it also popularized the Jamaican language, 'Rude Boy' aesthetics, and the 'unorthodoxy' of its filmic production. This Reggae film is sometimes referred to as "possibly the most influential Jamaican film and one of the most important Caribbean films.'

Notably, The Harder They Come has created a platform for conversation, critique, creation, academic papers, and performance in various contexts within Reggae Studies, Film & Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, and Celebrity Studies, among other disciplines of research.

The Global Reggae Conference, now in its seventh year and traditionally held as a top biennial event, will transition to a triennial offering in 2022. This conference, held during Jamaica's Reggae Month, will bring together academics from various academic perspectives and practices. This conference intends to bring together students, scholars, filmmakers, researchers, writers, critics, music fans, and artists to discuss the conference subject in appreciation of the constructive space produced by cinema.