A Brief History of Seven Killings

A Brief History of Seven Killings

by

Marlon James

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The Smile Jamaica Concert (a.k.a the Peace Concert) Symbol Analysis

The Smile Jamaica Concert (a.k.a the Peace Concert) Symbol Icon

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. 

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The Smile Jamaica Concert (a.k.a the Peace Concert) Symbol Timeline in A Brief History of Seven Killings

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
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
...the CIA is in Jamaica; he is a filmmaker who is making a film about the peace concert being organized by the Singer. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
...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
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
...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:
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
...a bigger story. He believes the Singer is “up to something and it’s not just the peace concert .” A taxi driver told Alex that he saw the Singer at the horse races... (full context)
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
...the same flight as Mark Lansing, a rich kid who is making a film about the Smile Jamaica concert . In May, Bill Adler said on TV that there were eleven CIA operatives working... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 11
Masculinity, Sexuality, and Homophobia Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
...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
Politics, Power, and Corruption Theme Icon
Witness and Storytelling Theme Icon
...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
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
...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)
Violence vs. Peace Theme Icon
Jamaican Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Bam-Bam stays in the park until the Smile Jamaica concert takes place. He stares at the Singer, who is too far away for Bam-Bam to... (full context)