UPDATE Nov. 29, 2018:
A couple of days after advocates called for reggae’s addition to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the genre of music has finally found a permanent spot. In a statement per CNN, UNESCO believes the genre “functions as a vehicle of social commentary, as a cathartic experience, and means of praising God remain unchanged, and the music continues to provide a voice for all.”
Read the original post below:
Since the 1960s, reggae has rocked and steadied listeners from Jamaica to Hong Kong. The genre has produced some of music’s most prominent artists (Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Marcia Griffiths) and influenced other generations to interpret the sounds for their own expression. Now, Jamaica has plans to canonize the genre on Unesco’s World Heritage List.
According to The New York Times, the country filed a request for reggae to live on Unesco’s roster, which includes the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur, St. Lucia’s Pitons mountains, Yosemite National Park in the U.S., and the Asante traditional buildings in Ghana. Jamaica’s sole contribution to the list is the Blue and John Crow Mountains.
In a statement made by Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s culture minister, “It will be a major achievement for Jamaica if we are successful in having the designation declared by Unesco.” For Grange and Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett, this possible feat can open new doors for the country’s tourism economy.
“This is in keeping with strategic steps that we are undertaking at my Ministry to strengthen Jamaica’s competitiveness as an entertainment destination as we reposition and diversify our product and generate high growth rates in both visitor arrivals and earnings,” Bartlett said.