Honorary Graduate 2022 - Don Letts - Doctor of Letters
From Paul Hodgson
His weekly Radio 6 Culture Clash show will have provided many post-millennials with their first introduction to Dub and Reggae rhythms, while their parents may remember his performances in Big Audio Dynamite – the hugely successful 80s band that fused Alternative Dance, Fusion Reggae, Hip Hop and Punk. He has been pivotal in shaping the musical genres of Punk Rock and Dub Reggae since the 1970s, forging links that fundamentally changed the cultural landscape at the time, and laid the ground for the rise of the Rock Against Racism movement.
As well as DJ-ing and performing he captured the vibrancy and chaotic energy of the music scene through his films, including The Punk Rock Movie. His work as a film maker continued, he has produced more than 20 films as well as documentaries on the musical links between White and Black working-class youth. Through the dogged pursuit of his artistic and musical interests, he has united disparate groups in a love of the movement and joy of dance.
Don Letts received the honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters on Tuesday 13 December 2022.