A panel with 12 black and white photographs of a diverse range of people

2023 marked the 75th anniversary of the arrival in Britain of the HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks. It quickly became a symbolic moment in the arrival of a generation of Commonwealth citizens who had been invited to live and work in Post-war Britain. In recent years it has also been a symbol of controversy, due to governmental immigration policies and their implementation.

We felt that now is an important time to evaluate our relationship with the Windrush ‘brand’, and to find out what people today see as their relationship with the Windrush, and what is sometimes known as ‘the Windrush Generation’.

We’re undertaking a project with long-term collaborator and friend, Vanley Burke, to capture portraits of people, both directly and indirectly connected to Windrush, while we ask them ‘what does Windrush mean to you?’. 

We’ll attach the interviews to the photographs using simple, accessible AR and they’ll be exhibited at the iconic Library of Birmingham’s 3rd Floor Gallery Space, until August 26th, entry free.

On Windrush Day itself (June 22nd), we’ll be teaming up with a host of other Windrush-related projects happening in Centenary Square, adjacent to the Library to host a launch event in the gallery, between 11am and 1pm. We’ll be joined by another long-term friend, Mrs McGhie Belgrave MBE, who’ll be helping us open the exhibition.

All images above copyright Vanley Burke, film Soheila Javaheri with Diane Malcolm