The Smile Jamaica Concert is another symbol of peace and unity associated with the Singer. Organized in response to the chaotic violence that takes place in the lead-up to the 1976 election, the concert aims to unify Jamaicans through their love of the Singer’s music. While some dons, such as Papa-Lo, support the concert, others––notably Josey––view it as a threat. The concert purports to be politically neutral, but Josey is convinced that it is actually “PNP propaganda,” and others––such as the American CIA operatives––view it as paving the way for a Rastafarian party to emerge and disturb the existing political terrain. Josey’s attack on the Singer’s house deliberately takes place only days before the concert as a way of stopping it from taking place. However, after the Singer miraculously survives the shooting, he insists on performing anyway, which symbolizes the resilience of peace efforts even in the face of vicious opposition. The only character to witness the Smile Jamaica concert is Bam-Bam, who is in a delirium and believes the Singer is conveying a plan for revenge aimed directly at him. Through Bam-Bam’s narration, the concert ends up being framed as a rather frightening and surreal event, one that encapsulates the problems of Jamaica as much as it promotes a message of peace and love.
The timeline below shows where the symbol The Smile Jamaica Concert (a.k.a the Peace Concert) appears in A Brief History of Seven Killings. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 2
Part 1, Chapter 3
...them into putting them away. The Singer told Papa-Lo about this while they were planning the peace concert . Many people are wary of the concert, claiming that it will strengthen suspicions that... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4
...walk right in. Security at the house has been tight ever since the announcement of the Smile Jamaica concert . Recently three gunmen broke into Nina’s parents’ house. A city-wide curfew is in effect,... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 9:
Part 1, Chapter 11
...pictures that were secretly taken of the Singer in his house. Everyone is waiting for the Smile Jamaica concert , even some people from the ghetto, because Papa-Lo said they should go to support... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11
...friendly, and says that yesterday the Singer had a press conference at his house about the Smile Jamaica concert . Mark claims a writer from Rolling Stone was there, although he doesn’t remember the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 20
...missed. Bam-Bam is desperate for a line of cocaine. He goes to the park where the Smile Jamaica concert will be held and realizes that the concert will still take place even after everything.... (full context)