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Marlon James and Akala star in British Council’s 'Walking Cities'

Published:Friday | June 1, 2018 | 12:00 AM

The British Council in partnership with the Calabash International Literary Festival and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is set to produce Walking Cities - Kingston, the latest in the series of global literary documentaries produced by the British Council.

The Walking Cities films connect contemporary writers from the United Kingdom and around the globe. Films have been produced in Kolkata, Rome, Vancouver, and Toronto with the next stop being downtown Kingston.

The film features Marlon James, the only Jamaican to win the prestigious Man Booker prize for literature, as well as UK rapper, author and activist Akala, who is launching a new memoir, Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire

These are two writers whose work is inspired by identity, places and territories.

“The British Council is pleased to facilitate Walking Cities in Kingston, a first for the Caribbean region. We recognise the transformative power of both, literature and film and believe that this approach to storytelling, not only underscores downtown Kingston’s ubiquitous influence on the some of today’s most iconic artists and writers, but also brings into sharp focus, how collaborative works can contribute to redefining a space; a space that is so very important to both Jamaica and the UK’s cultural and artistic legacies," said Olayinka Jacobs-Bonnick, country director at the British Council. 

This Walking Cities film will highlight the heritage, architecture and life in downtown, where Marlon James’ most recent book about the assassination of Bob Marley, A Brief history of Seven Killings, is set. The writers will walk through the streets of downtown Kingston, and they will discuss the relationship between the city, space, identity and their own writing, comparing and contrasting views and experiences from different sides of the Atlantic.