A great sage and historian Dr John Henrik Clarke often said: “All history is current event.” The past, the present and the future are so intricately interwoven that it is impossible for any people to successfully carry the baton in this relay race of life without being well informed on the events that shaped their present life circumstances. The people that lack such knowledge are always owned and controlled by others, for they lack the power of harmony with their historical obligations.
Rastafari Visions is therefore a fulfillment of a particular obligation that was handed down to the artist Ras Jahaziel from grand parents and elders who were kept illiterate and denied a voice through which they could articulately express their side of the skewed story that portrayed slave dealers as saviors, and robbery and pillage and crimes against humanity as “discovery.”
Obviously, to fulfill this particular historical obligation, the crimes of slavery had to be narrated from a different perspective, and in paintings like “The Rape of Africa,” “Struggle,” “Katrina,” and “Silence is complicity,” the horrors of the slave-trade and its ongoing consequences are laid bare before the eyes.
But at the same time throughout all the dark ages of legal terrorism there always existed a hope and a vision for that day when the earth and its people are no longer used and abused as expendable tools in the process of wealth creation for the few.
In paintings like “The Return,” “The Harvest,” “The First Supper,” and “Village of Hope,” one is exposed to this deep yearning for that day when the earth can truly rejoice free from the rapacious lusts of Vampires, and those that put profit before human life.
This then is Rastafari Visions, art as a tool in the redemption of man, education through imagery, inspiration through divine vision.