In Jamaica Mi Crazy, the London-based photographer Stefy Pocket captures life on the streets of Spanish Town, highlighting the threads of joy and beauty that run through its neighborhoods.
Pocket got her first glimpse of Jamaican culture while attending the funeral of the father of a friend, who had been active in London’s Jamaican community. Following the ceremony, she was swept up the festivities of a party that lasted for twelve hours, and the intimacy and vitality of the celebration stayed with her long after the event had concluded. She soon found herself traveling to Saint Ann’s Road, Spanish Town, where she remained with relatives of the friend for a month.
She spent her days sitting beneath a mango tree under the hot Jamaican sun, getting to know the neighbors and passersby who greeted her with the popular salutation “full joy.” Most people in Spanish Town, she explains, live off of one dollar per day or less, but despite financial need, they find ways not only to survive but to celebrate the everyday.
The streets, says Pocket, are lined with coconut trees and flavored by the smell of jerk chicken. Reggae music plays, and the sun never stops shining. The photographer cooked with members of the community and savored meals with them. She was welcomed wholeheartedly. Although Spanish Town attracts few tourists, she sees it as a mecca of creative energy, a community filled to the brim with beauty and richness. In her own words, Spanish Town is “a kind of city that knows no fear and hides behind big ass speakers during street parties.”
All images © Stefy Pocket