Friday 28 February 18:00 - 21:00

University of Westminster
Regent St Cinema
307 Regent St

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Difference Festival - Bass Culture the Film


Bass Culture the Film - screening followed by Q&A

This screening is staged by Bass Culture Research, an Arts and AHRC funded project set up to explore the impact of Jamaican music in the UK. The film was produced by Fully Focused.

“Often acting as the trigger, Jamaican music was fundamental not just to the emergence of multiculture in the British cities, but the redefining of the post-colonial nation. The term ‘Bass Culture’ acknowledges the Caribbean cultural origins of sound system practices, and their ongoing role in framing British urban experiences across ethnic, local and regional contexts.

Bass Culture the Film connects successful genres such as grime, with the creativity and entrepreneurialism embedded in sound system culture since the 1950s. Curated from a London perspective the film captures a narrative from key musicians, producers and artistes, during what was one of the most significant periods in contemporary British popular music.

First screened in 2018, the backdrop to the film was an award season that saw the genre attract more red-carpet appearances, awards and accolades than any other. Not to mention the embrace by sections of the political elite. But while Jamaican music has been fundamental to the development of multicultural Britain, its influence has never been fully recognised. Following recent moves to ramp up police stop and search powers, together with claims that Jamaican-influenced genres such as drill are fuelling gang wars - marginalisation and discrimination risks being on the rise again. The Bass Culture film aims to recognise the impact of Jamaican culture on not only the pop music canon but on British culture and identity itself.

Bass Culture the Film retraces origins of grime through the genres that preceded it. Those more familiar with the genre will know this success is hard-won. But for those less familiar this music’s history, the film provides new insights to the efforts of an underground, predominantly black British music community, that continues to defy the industries assessments of its potential. Bass Culture documentary presents a success story that demonstrates the complexity and diversity of the British music industry. It also showcases a journey fuelled by enterprise, entrepreneurialism and creativity”

Additional Info:

The film was produced by Fully Focused Community (FFC) is a youth led media organisation that uses the power of film to raise awareness, challenge perceptions and transform lives. FFC brings together film industry professionals with young people from some of the most disadvantaged backgrounds in London. The young people are trained, recruited and supported by a small group of industry professionals. Under the guidance of these 5 individuals, FFC’s young team of 19 have been delivering successful creative projects that tackle issues within society that they feel are relevant and important.


Mykaell Riley, Principal Investigator and Director of the Black Music Research Unit, at the University of Westminster, said “This is the story of the soundtrack to multiculturalism, a hidden history that is still impacting on new British music.”

“Bass Culture research outputs are aimed at encouraging positive social change and building platforms for constructive and critical debate, with global potential”.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A and then a drinks reception


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