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Dub, Utopia and the Ruins of the Caribbean

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jats:pThe weathered stone, collapsed lintels and hollow roofs of the ruin have long evoked a sense of pathos, standing as monuments to the disastrous contours of history and the possibility of alternative futures. In this article, I ask: What is the meaning of the ruin in the postcolonial context of the Caribbean? There are few physical ruins in the Caribbean, resulting in a feeling of lack: the architectural landscape fails to speak to the catastrophes of slavery and colonialism. Dub, a subgenre of Jamaican reggae, responds to this sense of deprivation. The dub producers of the 1970s decomposed reggae songs, creating ruinous constructions where crucial elements of the original version are missing. Fragmented dub compositions act as icons of the traumatic history of the Caribbean and a utopian pique to the imagination, forcing the listener to fill in the gaps and imagine the world remade.</jats:p>



47 Language, Communication and Culture, 4705 Literary Studies

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Theory, Culture &amp; Society

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SAGE Publications