Jamaica, as island politicians and historians of pop music have grown fond of saying, is a country whose cultural impact has been wildly disproportionate to its size. The imagery of Jamaican music, not just the sound, has captured the global imagination for decades. Beth Lesser’s photographs from the Eighties document the zenith of dancehall—often described as reggae’s raucous younger sibling.
A great deal has happened in the five years since Ramarley Graham was fatally shot by NYPD Officer Richard Haste. Attempts to indict Haste have been unsuccessful, but last month the NYPD has pursued its own investigation of Haste, where witnesses and police experts showed that multiple police protocols had been ignored in the events leading up to the shooting. But it is rare that an officer is prosecuted, let alone convicted, for killing a civilian while on duty.
Rastafari began not simply as a form of countercultural expression or fringe religious belief. It involved a fight for justice by disenfranchised Jamaicans, peasant laborers and the urban underemployed alike, in what was then a British colony. Rastafari have long been persecuted by the Jamaican government for their sacramental use of cannabis. But with marijuana recently decriminalized in Jamaica, descendants of the original Rasta movement are in danger of losing what remains of the land in central Jamaica where their community began.
During photography’s early days in the mid-nineteenth century, the photographic portrait was expected to convey neutrality. But Marcel Sternberger, the leading portrait photographer of his generation, who photographed some of the most celebrated icons of the 1930s to 1950s, used psychological techniques to create a photograph representative of his subject’s inner state. Though Sternberger has since faded into obscurity, many of his portraits have not.
When I attempt to describe my years in Paris, no one believes me, I can tell. It was too Hollywood-dream perfect. Here is Nadja coming out of the student restaurant, minding her own business, and who should appear next but Eric Rohmer and within minutes he wants to make a film about her life.