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Reggae as an Instrument of the Collective Memory of Slavery


Designated by UNESCO in 2018 as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity, reggae music from Jamaica is enjoyed around the world. This panel discussion will seek to raise awareness of the close links between reggae and not only Jamaica, but also Africa and, more specifically, the themes of slavery.  The power of reggae lies in its ability to foster a universal perception of the suffering and injustices that accompanied the transatlantic slave trade, and indeed of all forms of racial injustice. Through theoretical contributions and sound clips, the conference will show how reggae contributes to shaping and transmitting the collective memory of people of African descent around the world. 


  • Dr Giulia Bonacci, historian and researcher, Institut de recherche pour le développement, Côte d’Azur University
  • Dr Ibrahima Guissé, independent expert, United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  • Marc Ismail, historian, teacher, and creator of the independent Soul of Anbessa label
  • Mathias Liengme, ethnomusicologist
  • Carol Simpson, attorney at law and expert in intellectual property law
  • Dr Warren Wallace, teacher, president of the Jamaica Association in Switzerland

Moderation : Yann Zitouni, journalist at Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS)


Organized by the United Nations Information Service in Geneva, with the generous support of the Musée d'ethnographie de Genève (MEG) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Other useful information

Where: Musée d’ethnographie de Genève (MEG), Bd Carl-Vogt 65, 1205 Geneva
When: Thursday 23 September 2021 
Time: from 7.30 to 9 pm

Free admission

Due to the limited number of seats (150), seating will be on a first-come, first-seated basis.

It is now mandatory to present a COVID certificate to enter the MEG.

Access to the MEG is only allowed with a COVID certificate and a valid QR code.

The COVID certificate is required from age 16. An official identification document (identity card, passport) must be presented together with the COVID certificate.

The conference will also be broadcast live on and on the @UNGeneva Facebook account.

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