14 July 2013
IN 2013, more than 30 years after my first visit, I returned to spend time with the Rasta community in Shashemene, Ethiopia to work with Italian filmmaker Giulia Amati. As part of the project I created a pop-up exhibition of 70 photographs I had taken in 1981. This report is from my diary of that day.
13 September 2014
IVAN COORE, who died on September 7, 2019, came from one of Jamaica’s elite families. His father David Coore was a lawyer who helped draft the Jamaica Constitution in 1961 and later served as Michael Manley’s deputy in the People’s National Party Government of the 1970s. His younger brother Steven ‘Cat’ Coore is a founder member of the legendary Third World reggae band. Ivan became a Rasta in the early 1970s while still at school and in 1973, at the age of 19, accompanied Vernon Carrington – Brother Gad, founder of the 12 Tribes of Israel Rasta mansion – on a fact-finding visit to Ethiopia. He subsequently decided to stay and study at the University in Addis Ababa. The following is a transcript of Ivan talking about the turbulent times he lived through in Ethiopia following the overthrow of HIM Haile Selassie, recorded while we were driving around Trench Town, Jamaica, in 2014.
01 April 1966
RAS SAM BROWN was one of the first Rastafari to publish a manifesto summarising the beliefs of the movement. He first came to public attention during the 1961 election campaign in Jamaica when he formed his Suffering People’s Party. Although he was not widely supported because many Rastas declined to be involved in ‘Politricks’, his influence was widespread and Leonard Barrett’s pioneering 1977 study of the movement, The Rastafarians, relied heavily on interviews with Brown.
17 September 1964
I MET Noel Dyer during my stay in Ethiopia in 1981. One evening, early in February, we sat down in his modestly furnished front room, with just a small oil lamp for light. He scrabbled around in the drawer of his desk, scooped together the last remains of his supply of ganja, built a spliff and started on his tale.
25 May 1963
THE Organization for African Unity (OAU) was formally established on May 25, 1963 with a permanent headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. HIM Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, was selected as the first President.
02 November 1930
ADDISON E SOUTHARD, United States Minister to Ethiopia, was commissioned by National Geographic to cover the former Ras Tafari succeeding to the world’s oldest continuously sovereign throne. His report appeared in the edition of June 1931 and was a major source of information for the emerging Rastafari movement in Jamaica.