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Fi Di Dancehall Queen Dem:
A Pedagogical Portfolio


Polyester, mesh, lace, sequin on black cotton

This top – with dancehall elements stitched onto it – pays homage to women in dancehall – the artists like Lady Saw, Spice, and Shenseea; the dancehall queens like Carlene Smith and Sandra Lee; and perhaps more importantly, the women that use dancehall culture and fashion as modes of self-expression and survival. The central question that has guided this final project is: how do we honour women as the centre of dancehall culture? How do we pay respect to these women as creators, transmitters of knowledge, and bodies of resistance? 

This portfolio is a celebration of Jamaican dancehall culture - the music, the fashion, the artistry, the people. The portfolio is three-fold: 1) a sample syllabus; 2) final assignment instructions; and 3) a sample final assignment with an artist statement. To view the portfolio, click here.

The focal point of this portfolio is the sample assignment accompanied by a cover letter. In this assignment, students will create a final piece related to aspects of dancehall that is most relevant to their own work. This can take a number of forms – an art installation, music production, short film, costume/fashion design, a chapter of a novel, a collection of poems, etc. The cover letter will describe why they chose the medium they used, their artistic choices, and a vision statement that identifies 1-2 cultural institutions that would host their final project. As an example, I designed a top. View the photos and video below for the garment making process. 

Garment Making Video, May 2022

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