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Windrush 2020 activities honour Caribbean contribution in East London

1 June 2020
By Amy Zamarripa Solis

Windrush Day is a national celebration of the contribution that people from Jamaica and the Caribbean have made to British social, culture and political life

The Foundation for Future London recognises and congratulates the dynamic and resilient diverse Caribbean communities who have helped to shape East London’s vibrant neighbourhoods over the past few generations since the 1940s.

Windrush Day is celebrated on 22 June and was started in 2018 to remember the thousands who came to help rebuild Britain after World War II. 22 June is the day that the MV Empire Windrush disembarked at Tilbury Docks in 1948.

Throughout 2020, Windrush art, culture and heritage activities will be taking place throughout East London.

As a funder and fundraiser, the Foundation is proud to positively represent the broad demographic of people in the boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, where places such as Newham has over 360,000 residents 70% of which is Black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) heritage and has over 104 languages spoken.

This year we supported Paula David and her Windrush intergenerational project “Windrush and Beyond: Stories of Migration” in Newham through our Connecting People and Place Fund small grant scheme. The project will take place in 2020.

Read on to find out how you can get involved in this year’s Windrush programme activities.

If you would like to apply for funding to take part in 2021 or beyond, check out our upcoming funding streams, which support individuals and organisations around skills, training, education, employment and creative placemaking in the arts, culture and innovation sectors.

Waltham Forest

We Are Here: Photographing Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest-based photographers’ collective, Image17, has launched the We Are Here project, which features over 50 contemporary photographic portraits, curated alongside over 100 personal family pictures, mementos and oral testimonies from the Windrush community in the borough. This project is hosted in partnership with the Vestry Museum and has been turned into an online resource, which will run from 5 March-1 November 2020. We Are Here also included an online programme on Windrush Day, which featured a screening of an animated film by Keston Neunie, family activities, an artist’s talk from Image 17 and a family tree session with Cultural & Ancestral Consultant Selena Carty.

https://vestryhousemuseum.org.uk/whats-on/photographing-windrush-citizens-waltham-forest/

https://weareherewf.org/exhibition-gallery/

Newham

Newham Council has launched a vibrant multimedia response to Windrush day, including stories, memories, songs and films from the Afro-Caribbean community. This included a reading by Mylo Freeman author of Hair: It’s a Family Affair and an open call for family photos for display on the Newham Council website in partnership with Hibiscus Community Centre. Newham Council also featured songs by musicians Crystxl King and Alex D Great on its website as well as Passages: Seven Films for Seven Decades, a film series commissioned by the Royal Court Theatre. Newham Council also promoted a free live streaming of Small Island, Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize winning novel adapted by the National Theatre and the British Film Institute’s series Black Britain on Film.

https://www.newham.gov.uk/libraries-arts-culture/windrush-day-2020?documentId=416&categoryId=20015

Hackney

Hackney Council has launched the online Windrush Generations Festival. This includes a songwriting project, radio broadcasts, We are Windrush storytelling project, a cricket history project in partnership with UCL, a poetry e-project with Hackney Library and the 100 Great Black Britons schools competition. Hackney Council have also commissioned two murals in Hackney Town Square, the first permanent monuments to the Windrush generation in the UK.

Autograph ABP is featuring artist Omar Victor Diop’s photographic reimagination of Windrush and have posted photographer Franklyn Rodgers’ photographs of the Windrush generation in the series Visual Care. Young artists, Hackney Literacy Pirates, have created A Windrush Legacy: British Caribbean Art & Culture, an art exhibition at the Mezzanine Gallery at Rich Mix. Hackney Archives have also contributed a presentation of R.A. Gibson’s 1952-1978 photo collection to A Windrush Legacy.

https://www.lovehackney.uk/windrush-generations-festival

https://autograph.org.uk/blog/windrush-day/

https://richmix.org.uk/events/a-windrush-legacy-british-caribbean-art-culture/

Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Borough Council is supporting a competition based on lettering artist Lana Hughes’ Windrush Day design in partnership with art collective Trapped In Zone One. Two winners will be selected from Tower Hamlets residents and the rest of the UK. Winners will receive a prize courtesy of Posca UK, Uni-ball and GreatArt.

Tower Hamlets Archives have worked with Layers of London to map Windrush arrivals from 1948 across the borough on an exciting interactive map resource.

http://www.towerhamletsarts.org.uk/?guide=Events&cat=44&cid=71776

https://www.layersoflondon.org/map/51.517711523490355,-0.19290393372664918?layer=windrush-arrival-1948&layers=true

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Amy Zamarripa Solis

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