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Windrush Day 2023 Event Listings

Updated: May 22

A season of events and displays marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush this year. Find out more about the Windrush generation, their legacies and the impact of the Caribbean on art and culture in the UK.

It is 75 years since the HMT Empire Windrush docked in Tilbury, Essex, on 22 June 1948, carrying passengers from the Caribbean to fill labour shortages in the UK.

Today, it's time to celebrate a turning point in building modern Britain and sparking a wider conversation about the past, present and future of our multi-ethnic society.

Here’s our pick of some of UK's events to celebrate Windrush day.

Exhibition, Clapham Library, from 1 June to 30 September 2023

Windrush: A Voyage through the Generations is a new photography exhibition by Jim Grover, the award-winning social documentary photographer behind the lens of Windrush: Portrait of a Generation, the acclaimed 2018 photo-story which honoured the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks.

The Baptism in St James’ Church, Clapham of Sariyah, the great granddaughter, and thus 4th generation, of Floris Bailey who arrived from Jamaica in the 1950s.

Now, five years on, and to mark the 75th anniversary and this major milestone, this exhibition is a moving new photo-story which explores how the generations which followed the Windrush Generation are living their lives in the UK today. Uniquely, this work explores and invites conversations around the different ways of passing down traditions, the continuity of heritage and intergenerational exchange.

Brixton Windrush Day parade in June 2022. The parade, which spans all generations and is organised by the West Indian Association of Service Personnel which is based in Clapham, marches up Brixton Road before assembling in front of the African and Caribbean War Memorial in Windrush Square.

Display, V&A South Kensington, closes Sunday, 31 December 2023

This free display is built around the portraits of two Jamaican gentlemen which were created three centuries apart. Vanley is a British-Jamaican photographer, while Francis Williams was a scholar and poet who became a British citizen in the 18th century. There will be a free Lunchtime Lecture on June 22 to accompany the show.

Mr Crouch in his greenhouse, photograph, by Vanley Burke, 2022, Leeds, England. © Vanley Burke

The series of events include a Historical and Hidden Caribbean Tour, which will take place every Sunday until November 26 and which will focus on objects and stories related to Caribbean culture.

There will be a participatory workshop led by University of Goldsmith design lecturer Dr Rose Sinclair, which is focused around Francis Williams, on July 8. On August 4 writer and dramatist Dr Michael McMillan will be discussing Black British photography and “the evolution of becomingness”.

Mrs Walker and her customers at her hairdressers shop, Rookery Road, photograph, by Vanley Burke, 1979, England. © Vanley Burke

Film, across the UK, 6-30 June 2023

The Windrush Caribbean Film Festival (WCCF) seeks to engage and educate audiences across the UK about the contributions of the Windrush generation and their descendants to the country through film screenings.

This captivating filmic experience along with interactive workshops and thought-provoking events, will once again highlight the artistic, political and social contribution of the original pioneers as well as their descendants who are shaping Britain today, forming their own cultural and political narratives and identities to shine bright in their own starry night.

Film, British Film Institute, 2pm, Saturday 24 June 2023

These two films, marking Windrush 75, explore the contribution of post-war Caribbean migration to life in the UK.

Veteran airman Eddie Noble, the subject of A Charmed Life, inspired Andrea Levy’s Small Island. Here, he tells his real-life story – one of struggle and achievement that stands today as legacy for future generations. Holder’s film vividly highlights youth culture in the 1960s, which took the country by storm. Fuelled by sounds and styles arriving from the Caribbean, it drew together young people from various cultures into a shared space, promoting mutual understanding.



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