One Love: Discovering Rastafari!

The curator of a groundbreaking exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History discusses Rastafarian culture

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What aspects of the culture does the exhibit highlight?
There are some very nice things that come through in a video that shows the dignity of this culture. That's a major thing I wanted [visitors] to know. Rastafari people have suffered enormously and have come through. The first Rastafari who began to wear dreadlocks in the '40s and '50s were beaten and scorned, and their dreadlocks were trimmed as an act of public humiliation. There was enormous pressure and brutalization of the members of the movement and they've come through this with their faith and resolve intact.

How has the subject of Rastafari been represented in other museums?
To my knowledge, this is the first exhibition in any major museum where someone has tried to take on a story about the origins and development of Rastafari at its core. There have been exhibits about reggae for sure. There have been exhibits that have shown pieces of Rastafari art—stuff that can be easily framed in a European aesthetic. But this is really about Rastafari at its revival core.

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