Small Axe | Lovers Rock | Ph. Parisa Taghizadeh
18 Jun – 26 Jun 2022

Original English version with Italian subtitles

Lovers Rock serves as an ode to the romantic reggae genre and the youth who found freedom in its sound, through the fictional story of young love and music at a Blues party in 1980.

Lovers Rock perfectly captures the ritual of young love at Blues parties. If a man wanted to dance with a woman, he would touch her elbow and let his hand slide down to her hand. If the woman wanted to dance, she would let the man lead her to the floor. If she didn’t, she would pull away. This is just one of the intricate details that plays out in Lovers Rock. Such parties took place in homes and were born out of necessity when Black Londoners were un-welcome to revel in white nightclubs. Amid the West Indian community’s can-do attitude, blossomed a Blues party culture. A sanctuary of sorts where sweethearts could dress up, pay a small admission fee, dance to romantic Reggae songs, buy beers, eat goat curry and rice and joyously celebrate life without apologies or restrictions.

I love it because that is what Small Axe is about. It is about doing it yourself. Don’t worry if people won’t let you in. You make your own.
Steve McQueen