Small Kings, A New Book of Photography Takes on Passa Passa
Small Kings is a new book by the New York-based photographer Alessandro Zuek Simonetti.
This new book is a collection of black and white images taken at Passa Passa (the weekly street dance that was being held in Tivoli Gardens each Wednesday night up till May this year), and includes text by Anicee Gaddis.
Anicee reminisces, “A night spent at Passa Passa never ceases to entrance me. The watershed beauty, the stabs of enlightenment, the cosmic sense of awakening and bliss. For me, it’s always been about the dichotomy, about the hard fury and poetic sublime that are the true language of Jamaica.”
Photographer Alessandro Simonetti and writer Anicée Gaddis attended the weekly sound system Passa Passa on the Wednesday before New Year’s Eve, 2009. The resulting story is a collage of impressionistic cameos documenting the people, the place and the mood of one very memorable evening in Tivoli Gardens. The gunmen, the sound bwoys, the dancers, the skankers, the fish-sellers, and the bus drivers were all very much present.
This story is about Jamaica, a place where the street dance is a broad canvas unfolding in small vignettes. It brings to light the passionate, stoic and paradoxical odyssey of the codependent marriage between the local dons and the everyday citizens, the cops and the civilians, the uptown society set and the downtown struggling poor.
Passa Passa has been suspended indefinitely since the May incidents in Tivoli Gardens.
To obtain a copy of Small Kings
All images by photographer Alessandro Zuek Simonetti.