2 Tone is undoubtedly one of the most influential cultural exports from our great city of Coventry. This magazine is part of our mission to remind the world about a movement that was at the forefront of social and political change in the 1970s and 80s.
Spearheaded by a young Jerry Dammers, 2 Tone was launched to speak out about the issues, stresses and violence between communities at that moment in time.It brought artists from the white, African and Caribbean communities together to promote unity, fight racism and encourage artists around the world to stand up to apartheid.
2021 marks 30 years since apartheid ended in South Africa, but with intolerance on the rise and communities in our cities divided, we are starting to see the youth of today creating their own movements through music.
Just as the spirit of 2 Tone follows a rich tradition of activism – from Lady Godiva and George Eliot, through to the creation of twin cities and peace and reconciliation movements – so too will our year as the UK City of Culture. It will be a joyous celebration of our Coventry communities, our creativity and all of our culture, and I am determined that in the spirit of 2 Tone our programme will have a strong social conscience and create a call to action.
So turn on your stereo, or stream your 2 Tone playlist, and read on for interviews with some of 2 Tone’s key players, with expert reflections on its past, present and future.
Chenine Bhathena Creative Director, Coventry City of Culture 2021