Repicturing Jamaica: New Wave JA

Collections / Our Collections
New Wave JA
Christina Nwabugo
Aug 20, 2019
Sun, sea, sand and palm trees may be the most common keywords related to travel photography throughout the Caribbean, but the New Wave JA partnership strives to expand that long‑held visual narrative starting with Jamaica.   The collective is showcasing the voices of talented creatives on the rise, making their personal stamp in photography and film by highlighting the individuality, culture and social topics of today’s Jamaica.

In a tropical island environment where 1 out of every 3 jobs is related to tourism, it’s only natural that images advertising the vacation allure of the Caribbean lean towards beautiful crystal blue water, happy honeymooners and families on the beach.  Instead, the partnership strives to meet locals in the middle by showing real Jamaicans living their lives in a fresh, visually accessible way.

New Wave JA’s director, Lindsey Lodenquai, says that this partnership’s prime focus is to inspire regional and global ad agencies to use images capturing the true Jamaican experience through offering broader content.  By cultivating relationships with local Jamaican talent to create this content, they have been hosting gatherings and workshops and working with several all‑female teams to bring even more to their collections.   In fact, since 70% of Jamaican women say that they are not depicted accurately in media and advertising, this partnership seeks to shake up the current status quo by working with contributors such as  Nickii Kane, Warren St. Patrick, Jik‑Reuben Pringle and Destinee Codison.

The partnership strives to meet locals in the middle by showing real Jamaicans living their lives in a fresh, visually accessible way.
Each member of the collective brings a personal style and viewpoint to what they shoot.    Jik‑Reuben Pringle has shot vibrant, ebullient, senior women; as bright, engaging and cheerful as their clothing ...  Destinee Codison’s imagery reflects working against the negative stereotypes of single fatherhood and motherhood, and turns that challenge into a sweet, thoughtful positive ... Nickii Kane connected with a community of Jamaican women called ‘Hair I Am’, proudly reflecting women’s social connection and cultural self‑expression through intricately styled hair  ... and Warren St. Patrick follows local farmer and chef, Shereece Cowan, as she proudly walks us through family land.

Like ‘patois’ ‑ Jamaica’s lively, slang infused, sing‑song language of the street – Jamaica’s diverse historical background of African, Spanish, English and Portuguese influences is reflected in the visual flavor of New Wave JA.  Working under this umbrella of creative talent, New Wave JA is responding to the advertising world’s need for more expansive imagery that embraces real connections to authentic local experiences, community wellbeing, and unique Caribbean cultures.

Project #ShowUs at Cannes Lions