Windrush Presence: Celebrating the contribution of the Windrush generation

22 June 2019 marked the first ever Windrush Day. It was on this day, in 1948, that HMT Empire Windrush landed at Tilbury Docks, just east of London, bringing with it migrants from the Caribbean and changing British culture and society forever.

At Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, this important anniversary was marked with a Windrush Tea Party, at which the contribution of the Windrush generation to British history and culture was celebrated. Author Colin Grant read from his forthcoming publication Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation before leading a discussion with two locally-based members of this generation: Dr Bert Williams MBE and Shirley Williams. Poet Akila Richards gave a Windrush-inspired spoken-word performance.

The event, which was organised by Royal Pavilion & Museums’ BME Heritage Network, was the first in a programme of celebratory events supported by Brighton & Hove City Council with funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.

Members of BME Heritage Network with Councillor Amanda Grimshaw BEM at Windrush Day Tea Party. Stephen D Lawrence Photography

Further activities include:

12 October – 1 November 2019
Exhibition: Windrush Presence
BMECP Centre, 10A Fleet Street, Brighton, BN1 4ZE (see the BMECP website for exhibition opening hours: https://bmecp.org.uk/events/). Free, all welcome.
A display of work by a range of artists, in various media, which documents or reflects on the contribution of the Windrush generation to British culture and society.
Curated by Dr Gil Doron as part of the Socially Engaged Art Salon.
More information here – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/exhibition-windrush-presence-tickets-69273658377

Saturday 12 October, 3-6pm
Exhibition Launch: Windrush Presence
BMECP Centre, 10A Fleet Street, Brighton, BN1 4ZE (see the BMECP website for exhibition opening hours: https://bmecp.org.uk/events/). Free, all welcome.
Windrush Makers present a celebratory opener event for the Windrush Presence exhibition Curated by Dr Gil Doron as part of the Socially Engaged Art Salon and featuring:
Diversity Lewes – A talk by Tony Kalume, producer of a short film that celebrates the African Caribbean presence in Sussex.
Socially Engaged Art Salon – A talk by the curator of the Windrush Presence exhibition, Dr Gil Doron.
Akila Richards – A spoken-word performance to accompany a display of textiles created in collaboration with Caribbean elders.
More information and to book – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/exhibition-launch-windrush-presence-tickets-69274177931

Saturday 5 October, 1-4pm
Banyan Tree Theatre Group presents Real-I-Sing ‘Windrush Songs Workshop’
Brighton Dome, Founders Room
All welcome at this vibrant singing workshop inspired by Windrush where participants will learn songs that bring to life the anticipation and wonder of a defining moment in Black British history.
Drawing upon the experiences of local Caribbean elders, the workshop will feature songs that spark and ignite memories of new beginnings. Participants will be guided through classic songs including calypso master Lord Kitchener’s ‘London is the place for me’, and more.
To book: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/banyan-tree-theatre-group-presents-real-i-sing-windrush-songs-workshop-tickets-69274288261

Saturday 6 October, 11am – 1.30pm & 2.30-5pm
Writing Our Legacy presents Windrush Presence Creative Writing Workshop
Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Education Pavilion

Responding to archival images of the Windrush Generation, poet Hannah Lowe will run a creative writing workshop that responds to the theme ‘Windrush Presence’. The workshop is open to writers of all backgrounds and levels of experience. All contributors will be invited to read an excerpt from their work at an evening event at New Writing South on Thursday 17 October 2019 and publish it on the Writing Our Legacy website.
Tickets £5.98 including booking fee.
In case of queries, please contact info@writingourlegacy.org.uk.
To book, please follow the relevant link:
Morning session: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/windrush-presence-creative-writing-workshop-morning-session-tickets-68690929419
Afternoon session: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/windrush-presence-creative-writing-workshop-afternoon-session-tickets-71043546159

 

Thursday 17 October, 6.30-9pm
Writing Sharing Event
New Writing South, 9 Jew St, Brighton BN1 1UT
Join us for the evening sharing of three newly commissioned pieces of writing in response to Windrush images, along with new writing from our creative writing workshop.
Tickets £5/£3 concession. Light refreshments and drinks by donation will be provided. The venue is fully accessible.
In case of queries, please contact info@writingourlegacy.org.uk.
To book: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/windrush-presence-evening-performance-tickets-68691802029

Saturday 26 October, 1-4pm
Banyan Tree Theatre Group presents Real-I-Sing ‘Windrush Songs Workshop’
Brighton Dome, Founders Room
All welcome at this vibrant singing workshop inspired by Windrush where participants will learn songs that bring to life the anticipation and wonder of a defining moment in Black British history.
Drawing upon the experiences of local Caribbean elders, the workshop will feature songs that spark and ignite memories of new beginnings. Participants will be guided through classic songs including calypso master Lord Kitchener’s ‘London is the place for me’, and more.
To book: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/banyan-tree-theatre-group-presents-real-i-sing-windrush-songs-workshop-tickets-69275265183

Wednesday 30 October, 6.30-7.30pm
Diversity Lewes presents ‘Celebrating African Caribbean in Sussex past and present’
BMECP Centre, 10A Fleet Street, Brighton, BN1 4ZE. Free, all welcome.
A short documentary film celebrating the lives and contributions of locally-based members of the Windrush Generation. The film will be shown continuously during the Windrush Presence exhibition.
This evening event will provide an opportunity to hear from the film’s producer, Tony Kalume of Diversity Lewes.
Further information and to book: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/diversity-lewes-presents-celebrating-african-caribbean-in-sussex-past-and-present-tickets-69275373507

Friday 1 November, 7.30-11pm
African Night Fever presents African-Caribbean Dance Party
Unitarian Church, New Rd, Brighton BN1 1UF. Tickets £5.00, include catering.
The programme ends in style with a final event celebrating the creative influence of African Caribbean music, food and dance styles.
Bring your dancing shoes!
To book: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/african-night-fever-presents-african-caribbean-dance-party-tickets-69275852941

2 Responses

  1. Judy L. Richards

    Why does this say the first Caribbean immigrants came in 1948? What about Lord Leary Constantine? Mary Seacole? Francis Barber? Mary Prince? Dr Harold Moody? ‍♀️‍♀️‍♀️

    • amandakay

      Comment received with thanks. The following revision was made as a result: the phrase “bringing with it the first immigrants from the Caribbean” was changed to “bringing with it migrants from the Caribbean”.

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