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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
UWI Author(s)
Author, Analytic
Cooper, Carolyn J.
Author Role
Presenter
Author Affiliation
Department of Literatures in English
Paper/Section Title
Mix up the indian with all the patwa': Ragamuffin sounds in 'cool' Britianna
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In
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Proceedings Title
4th Annual Conference of the International Association for Language and Intercultural Communication
Date of Meeting
December, 2003
Place of Meeting
Lancaster University
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Abstract
Apache Indian's spectacular performance of the identity of ‘Jamaican’ dancehall DJ exemplifies the problematic politics of acculturation in ‘postcolonial’ Britain. Born in the Handsworth district of Birmingham, a major centre of Caribbean and South Asian migration, this multilingual, border-crossing, urban youth appropriates the‘patwa’ language of Jamaicans and mixes this with his own Punjabi. What results is a polyvocal, rajamuffin sound that illustrates the ways in which the creolisation process, more familiarly studied in the context of the colonies of Britain, assumes new dynamics in the very belly of the beast of Empire. Apache Indian declares: ‘Me a push reggae music to a different body/A next nation and a next country.’ The DJ's ‘nation’ encompasses an expansive body of South Asian/West Indian Diasporic communities and others far beyond his country of birth. Having discovered at home in Handsworth, models of performative excellence within a distinctly Caribbean idiom, Apache Indian, like Nahki in Japan, Snow in Canada, Bigga Haitian in New York, Admiral T in Guadeloupe and Gentleman in Germany, crisscrosses cultural borders, demonstrating the infinite capacity for adaptation of transnational Jamaican popular culture as it accommodates local needs in its global spread.....
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