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Ragamuffin (online)
Institute of Contemporary Arts
February 2023
Ragamuffin, dir. Amani Naphtali, UK 2002


Ragamuffin is a man on trial. In the ‘Supreme Court of Afrikan Justice’ he has been indicted for his role in criminalising the Black community. Now he is defended as a disaffected revolutionary. Eventually he will be celebrated as a symbol of young Black urban experience.
 
During the course of Ragamuffin’s allegorical trial, the Court is asked to consider the historical significance of the Haitian slave revolution of 1804 as well as the events leading up to the Broadwater Farm uprising. Key episodes from the case are depicted using a range of styles including reggae, dance, rap, and mime. 
 
Amani Naphtali’s parodic drama reveals the conflicting realities for Black youth in contemporary Britain and ultimately leaves the audience – aka the jury – to decide Ragamuffin’s fate.

A special screening of Ragamuffin + Q&A with Amani Naphtali happened as part of the War Inna Babylon public programme, and earlier in November
Amani Naphtali is a trained dramatist, inclusive arts practitioner, creative writer, director, filmmaker and cultural historian. He wrote and directed the films Le Bohemian Noir and Circles of Fire. Amani also wrote the book for the West End musical Daddy Cool. In addition to Ragamuffin his theatre productions also include The Remnant, Valley of the Blind, Song of Songs, and Vibes from the Scribes.
 
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02:00 pm
Sun, 14 Nov 2021
Cinema 3
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