Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Anti-violence campaign grows out of global concern

Published:Thursday | May 4, 2017 | 5:06 AMMelville Cooke
From left: Iceman, Debbie Bissoon and Donovan Watkis

Before the song, No Violence in Love, in February, there was the public service advertisement with that title, spearheaded by Donovan Watkis and Debbie Bissoon. Timed to coincide with Valentine's Day 2017, it featured 21 well-known personalities making a call for peace, love and unity. The project was screened widely, from the Palace Amusement circuit's cinemas to the International Women's Day concert at Emancipation Park, New Kingston.

Then came the song performed by Donald 'Iceman' Anderson and Ikaya. The lyrics were written by Donovan Watkis and Iceman, the two also involved in creating the music along with Feluke and Ranoy Gordon.

Iceman told The Gleaner, that so far, he has performed, No Violence in Love, on CVM TV's morning programme and Dancin Dynamites. Although Ikaya was not involved in those performances, Iceman emphasised that she is "definitely one half" of the track and is looking towards future performances together.

 

ESCALATING TENSION

 

He said although the song started out of concern about violence against women and children the writers considered the international situation, including escalating tension between the USA and North Korea.

"It is a bad state of affairs. We said what medium can we best use to speak about this," Iceman said.

Watkis made a connection with another project, saying the, No Violence in Love, campaign "started as an extension of thoughts in my book, JR's Hope: Thoughts On Improving From Up The Street."

Looking ahead, Watkis said the next step for, No Violence in Love, "...is to take the campaign worldwide starting with the USA, then the UK, in colleges, inner-city communities and other venues with concerts, lectures and appearances. The campaign, although started in Jamaica, resonates with the world. Violence in love, is a problem the world has to deal with and we believe that an improved narrative will help to solve that problem. We hope to inspire other artistes to transform their narrative other than the 21 artistes that are in this campaign."

While Watkis does not fear the song being fleeting or tied to periods when violence spikes, the reason is sobering. He said "It would probably be good if that was true, but violence happens daily in various ways." This is not only among individuals, but also business and countries."If we achieve a victory in neighbourhoods and societies, if this song inspires a more peaceful narrative, then the song and movement would have been successful," Watkis said.