Anthropology Professors Take Documentary to South Africa

May 6, 2013
Deborah Thomas, Professor of Anthropology, John L. Jackson, Jr., Richard Perry University Professor of Communication and Anthropology and Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, and co-producer Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn have received funding from Penn’s Global Engagement Fund and the Ford Foundation to travel to South Africa to screen their documentary film, Bad Friday: Rastafari After Coral Gardens. They will conduct media ethnography workshops in a variety of university and community settings in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Bad Friday—which was featured at several international film festivals and screened on university campuses across the country—focuses on state violence against Rastafari in Jamaica. In particular, it explores the “Coral Gardens incident” of 1963, which involved the Jamaican government rounding up, jailing and torturing hundreds of Rastafarians. The film highlights a community of Rastafari in western Jamaica who annually commemorate the incident.

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