News and background stories on maroon communities in the Americas.
The Jamaican Ministry of Youth and Culture has designated the world premiere of the Maroon documentary film Akwantu as an endorsed event for ‘Jamaica 50’ – the official government program for Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary of Independence. Already marked as one of the highlights of the Fourth International Maroon Conference, the film is set to air on Friday, June 22nd in the Asafu Yard in Charles Town, Portland. The film’s director, Roy T. Anderson, and other crew members will attend the world premiere .
In addition to this, Akwantu’s publicity team has announced regional premieres for the USA (Atlanta) and the Netherlands (Amsterdam). In the USA, Akwantu will premiere as part of the annual Caribbean Film Festival at the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library. No date has yet been announced for the Amsterdam venue.
A series of private pre-screenings is serving as the kick-off for the upcoming world and regional premieres. Some of these invitation-only events have already been held, for example in Toronto and New York. Another pre-screening is scheduled for Charleston (South Carolina) on June 14th.
Roy T. Anderson’s 87-minute cinematic portrayal of the Jamaican Maroons was filmed in Jamaica, Ghana, Canada and the United States over the course of three years. It features interviews with Maroon officials, scholars, Jamaican citizens (Maroon and non-Maroon), as well as African nationals. While capturing the legacy of the Jamaican Maroons, Akwantu also tells of the film director’s journey of self-discovery as a Jamaican Maroon descendent entering North American society.
Akwantu marks Anderson’s debut as a film director, writer, producer and narrator. His knowledge of film making stems from his longstanding career as a Hollywood stuntman.
For detailed news coverage relating to Akwantu, visit its Facebook page
Commemorative Abeng Blower
This ebony wood art piece featuring a traditional abeng blower was created by Macpri, the principle and official photographer for Akwantu. It stands 8 inches tall and is produced in Ghana, West Africa. Only a limited number of these commemorative carvings are available for purchase (35 US Dollars; applicable taxes, packaging and shipping extra). Orders are by email only (send message to email@example.com).
The abeng is a traditional Maroon instrument (more info here).