Press release: WOMAD Foundation unite with Afrika Eye to celebrate 50 years of Jamaican independence

WOMAD Foundation unite with Afrika Eye to celebrate 50 years of Jamaican independence

Jamaican music/dance workshops in Bristol schools – Thursday 8th & Friday 9th November

Jamaican launch party on Friday 9th November (Watershed)

Workshops in Jamaican dance, music and mask making on Saturday 10th November with Ripton Lindsay and artist David Cox (Watershed) followed by “Mask and Dance” parade along Harbourside

This year’s Afrika Eye film festival brings an exciting new collaboration with WOMAD Foundation helping to extend Africa Eye’s quest to celebrate, share and educate about African and Afro- Caribbean culture beyond the medium of film

In celebration of 50 years Jamaican independence, Afrika Eye have teamed up with WOMAD Foundation – the educational arm of the world’s foremost transcultural music and dance organisation, WOMAD – to introduce Bristol’s children and youth to Jamaica’s remarkable music, dance and carnival mask traditions.

Annie Menter, Director of WOMAD Foundation says: “WOMAD is all about celebrating the richness and diversity of cultures, and we are thrilled to bring our experience of working with artists in an educational setting to Afrika Eye this year. It’s also a great opportunity to commemorate Jamaica’s vibrant contribution to the arts and to support Afrika Eye in developing a broader remit for its message through this participatory programme.”

In the build up to the festival, Afrika Eye and WOMAD Foundation are taking workshops into three Bristol schools. The first of these at Cotham School on Thursday 8th November (9am-3.30pm) includes a workshop with legendary urban music duo Ripton Lindsay (Jamaican dancer / MC) and Mr Benn (producer, DJ, MC) sampling and mixing tracks, and two workshops with Ripton Lindsay in Jamaican dance.

Further dance workshops with Ripton Lindsay will follow on Friday 9th November at St.Barnabas Primary School (9am-12.15pm) and Holy Cross RC Primary School (1.15pm-3.15pm). Rooted in traditional Jamaican dance, Ripton’s dance form has made its mark on the contemporary UK dance scene, alongside hip hop and other urban dance styles.

Ripton Lindsay says:

‘I am extremely delighted to be a part of and supporting Afrika Eye in collaboration with the WOMAD Foundation for this year’s festival. Together they have opened doors for me to enter schools to mark Jamaica’s celebration of its 50th anniversary year, and for me to share my country and its culture using my professional skills and knowledge to educate and entertain children and adults alike, who wouldn’t otherwise usually get this firsthand traditional experience up close and personal.

“I see this as an important contribution to the educational life of the children so they can grow with a more open mind to create a tolerant society for tomorrow’s world. You wouldn’t normally find such learning opportunities in the school curriculum.”

Ripton Lindsay and Mr Benn go on to cause a stir at Afrika Eye’s “Jamaican” launch party in the Watershed bar on the Friday night (10pm till midnight) with a hotly anticipated Jamaican dance and MC turntable collaboration, following the festival’s opening film LA PIROGUE.

The dance and mask-making workshops will be followed by an Afrika Eye Parade along Harbourside at 2.45pm in a celebratory showcase of these “masks and moves” with live drumming accompaniment, before heading back into Watershed for the next part of the film festival programme.

Simon Bright, Director of Afrika Eye says: “We’re really excited to bring this vital infusion of Caribbean culture to the Bristol community. These fantastic workshops across different Jamaican art forms give a very practical, experiential taste of the Caribbean’s vibrant cultural heritage.”

Notes to Editors:

  • For more information about WOMAD Foundation contact:
  • For more information about Afrika Eye visit;; Twitter @AfrikaEyeFest

Ripton Lindsay, Mr Benn and Afrika Eye directors and curators are available for interview

For media enquiries please contact Will Gethin at Conscious Frontiers: 07795 204 833;


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *