Roifield Brown

Published on May 4th, 2012

Roifield Brown series producer

Where? Conquered What?

Everyone likes to think that the places that they love are worthy of a bit of praise – but you might think that claiming Jamaica conquered the world is taking the praise a bit far.

The Romans did a lot of conquering. The British had an Empire throughout the 19th century. Russia and the USA spent the second half of the 20th cenutry competing to be the worlds largest superpower… But Jamaica?

My dad moved from Jamaica to the UK in 1961, just a year before independence from Britian. So the fifty year anniversary of Jamaican independence is important to me for more than one reason… But independence doesn’t conquer the world. (And neither did my dad).

This year, though, offers an amazing chance to remind us how, in the last 50 years, Jamaica has made its mark across the world. With almost 20 years experience in producing, multimedia and website development, I decided to put my talents into creating an online showcase of Jamaica since independence. So I started researching…

… and now its got much bigger than I ever imagined – and it turns out that since 1962, slowly, (not always) quietly, Jamaica has conquered the world.

The Story So Far…

After some research, and a couple of blog posts, the project turned into a website, and then a podcast… and then a series of podcasts. I’ve spoken to interviewees from footballer Michael Johnson to dancehall pioneers Steely & Clevie, and discovered the social and cultural influence of Jamaica extends across the world.

There’s been a lot of interest in the project too, and I’ve been joined by a small team of volunteers who are supporting the research, promotion and distribution of the podcasts. The “How Jamaica” project has even been endorsed by the Jamaica50 Secretariat, the organisation that is co-ordinating events in and around Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence 2012.

We are now working to get some short audio and video clips shocased at cultural events during 2012, and have got to the point where we need to start investing in this project to ensure that it does justice to all that we’re discovering and forms a positive celebration of an independent Jamaica.

Who am I?

I’m a frustrated historian, father of 3 and media bod who has worked across the media for almost 20 years now. I started www.myvillage.com and currently work doing consultancies for various projects like whatlondonerswant.com and Blottr.com