The PEN Pinter Prize is awarded annually to a writer. This year, that writer is the legendary Linton Kwesi Johnson.
Over thirty years earlier, Arena’s A Caribbean Journey, featuring the reggae poet’s journey back to Jamaica, showed his commitment to telling the real story of Britain’s colonial and postcolonial history.
The film is screened online 13-17 October, 10am. You can watch the film here.
Echoing the experiences of thousands of Caribbean people who came to the UK, the film strikes a chord in today’s turbulent times.
As PEN Pinter Prize judge Max Porter says of LKJ, ‘He has been fearless, and relentless, but tragically his message is now more important than ever, given the Windrush scandal and the ongoing systemic demonisation of the immigrant population and racial minorities in the UK.’
For Black History Month, Writing on the Wall is proud to present this film with iconic reggae poet Linton Kwesi Johnson from the BBC’s Arena archives.
Alongside the film, poets Karen McCarthy-Woolf, Ashleigh Nugent and Levi Tafari explore their own links to Jamaica, award-winning author Olive Senior talks about her life and work and acclaimed historian Colin Grant reads from his book Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation.
And the Bocas Lit Fest’s Prize-winning poets Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné and Vladimir Lucien take inspiration to write new poems. Together these different generations of authors show the depth and breadth of the Caribbean contribution to culture then and now.