Jamaican Self-Help is proud to announce the eighth annual GANLEY LECTURE with special guest speaker Michael St. George, on the topic of “Art, Revolution and Activism in Shifting and Shaping Communities.” Michael is a dynamic speaker who will address the themes of the lecture in Peterborough as a follow up to the screening of the film Marley (November 5), on the life and impact of Jamaican cultural icon Bob Marley. Born in Jamaica, Michael now lives in Hamilton and brings a multitude of experiences to his presentations – he is a performance artist, dub poet, academic and activist.
Michael St. George is a writer, recording artist, educator and a recognized leader in the world of dub performance. His conscious verse and fresh musical sound has earned him industry awards and peer recognition both nationally and internationally. Inspired by his working class upbringing, St. George’s work is dedicated to justice and social equity. As a second-generation dub poet, he has continued to remain true to the ideals of the form. His message is thought provoking, positive, spiritual and seeking to incite constructive change.
Born in Portland, Jamaica, Michael St. George grew up in Kingston. He began performing live in 1985, and started recording in 1987. His uncompromising, syncopated, hard-driving baselines and melodic forms infused with other influences such as reggae, ska, rhythm & blues, and jazz. In 2005 St. George was awarded the Ontario Federation of Labour Art and Culture Award for outstanding contribution to his field. He was later nominated in the world music category the Toronto Independent Music Award and the Urban Music Awards for his album Dubbin De Vibes.
In 2006 Brock University became home to St. Georges exciting theatre course - drama education in society Dub style. The course combines non-western approaches and traditional academic theatre practice while examining socio-political and cultural aesthetic of dubs dramatization emphasizing language, research, performance and discussions.
In 2007 St. George attended the Simon Wiesenthal tools for Tolerance Educational Leadership for Inclusive Schools program in Los Angeles and completed an Arts Education Certificate program at York University. In the same year his work was selected for a documentary entitled speaking in tongues The History of Language with the renowned Noam Chomsky and others. St. George also brings his unique philosophy to his role an educator and playwright. Regularly conducting workshops, teaching and performing for students of all ages, this expansion into the world of education is a natural one and confirms St. George’s ability to bridge generation gaps - a universal appeal that has placed him centre-stage in the arts and festival world with a reputation as the poet with the fire of the human spirit.
St. George’s play, Domestic Science Dub, highlights domestic workers who continue to leave an indelible mark on Canada’s economy. As well, working with Professor Jane Leavitt and students of Brock University, St. George helped to create the TAP project, an integrated arts venture delivered to 110 students in Jamaica (summer 07), a program which has continued to grow from strength to strength. Jamaican Self-Help has recently embarked on a partnership with St. George and other TAP members for youth and arts programmes in Jamaica.