Jamaican Dancehall Culture Gets The Visual Treatment

Wi lickle but wi tallawah

It is a common expression in Jamaica that means despite its small physical size the island of Jamaica is powerful, fearless and strong-willed. Visual artist Andre Woolery has taken inspiration from that saying for his latest collection, Freedom of Expression, Jamaica. The works focus on celebrating the island's creativity through portraits of youth engaged in Jamaican dancehall culture, a phenomenon known for its up-tempo music and colorful ensembles donned by its supporters.

Against backdrops of predominantly neutral tones, Woolery applies striking colors that capture the boldness, vibrancy and eclectic style of Jamaica's youth. In a country listed as having the sixth highest homicide rate in the world and where 1.1 million people live below the poverty line, Woolery believes dancehall youth find empowerment through their sartorial choices. Furthermore he hopes that their images broaden the perception of Jamaica.

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