Sun | Jan 20, 2019

No Violence in Love campaign reaches big screen

Published:Sunday | April 2, 2017 | 12:00 AMCurtis Campbell
From left: ZJ Liquid, Denique, Iceman, Bruce Lawrence (audio engineer), Debbie Bissoon, Yendi Phillipps, Donovan Watkis and son Marquis Jordan Watkis.
From left: Iceman, Debbie Bissoon and Donovan Watkis

Filmmaker Donovan Watkis and media personality Debbie Bissoon are pleased with the success of their 'No Violence in Love campaign, which was launched On February 14, 2017.

The campaign features 21 popular personalities and was created as a response to the recent rise in domestic violence locally.

The campaign's main public service announcement video is currently in rotation on Television Jamaica (TVJ), PBCJ, Newstalk 93FM, CNN, E!, BET, Flow1 and Flow Sports, and has now found a home on the big screens of Palace Cinemas islandwide, showed before all movies.

"We started this because we want to empower relationships of love with a narrative of love by empowering girls and women. We believe if we empower women, they will raise gentler boys, and gentler boys will become gentlemen. They will also know how to treat women with more care and empathy ... eliminating the idea of violence within any loving relationship," Bissoon told The Sunday Gleaner.

The 'No Violence in Love team also released an accompanying soundtrack and music video on Friday, in support of the movement. The effort features reggae artiste Donald 'Iceman' Anderson and Ikaya, and will be distributed on all digital platforms, with the full No Violence in Love EP becoming available on April 30, 2017.

Written by Donovan Watkis and Iceman, the soundtrack also features work from musicians Feluke, Ranoy Gordon, Iceman and Donovan Watkis.

"I came up with the idea to have a campaign as a response to the violent acts within relationships where love should be priority. We called upon 21 personalities for a PSA, this included Yendi Phillipps, Terri-Karelle, Denique, Tanya Stephens, Shelly-Ann Weeks, Empress Golding, Kevin Downswell, Kevin of Voicemail, Bella Blair, Neville Bell, ZJ Liquid, Iceman aka Slashe, Debbie Bissoon, JR Watkis, Ity and Fancy Cat, Krystal Tomlinson, Alaine, Cortia Bingham, Chozenn, and Devin Di Dakta," he said.




Bissoon added, "The success of the campaign has been largely organic. Every Jamaican saw this initiative as a necessary cry to change the cultural narratives, and it has now become their campaign. The soundtrack is something every radio DJ and sound system operator can blast as meaningful entertainment and everybody can purchase or stream online. Physical copies will also be available, and I also want to add that the song is catchy and the video is profound."

The next leg of the campaign will see the team taking the positive message to schools in the form of concerts and workshops.

"This campaign is a true testament that we are indeed stronger together. We are grateful for the overwhelming support. Together, we've started to shift the consciousness of how we love each other, and through this new video and song, our hope is that the message of love will continue to resonate for a violence-free Jamaica," she said.