From a seniors’ lunch in Brixton Market to an opera premiere on YouTube, local Windrush Day celebrations honoured the huge contribution made to British life by the Windrush Generation and their descendants.
Events to celebrate will continue through the weekend.
The day featured the premiere of Lambeth’s new Windrush Anthem, Rush, commissioned by Pegasus Opera and the Windrush Emblem created by local artist Seonaid Gowdie.
“I Am Here” is the theme for Lambeth’s Windrush Day this year.
The final lines of Rush, written by Des Oliver, are:
All the things I knew. Everything I want to do. Are the things I owe to you We came here from far away! We came here, here to stay. Here to stay Here we stand, here I am!
Find out more about Rush.
Residents could support the “I Am Here” message by using templates in a pack created by Seonaid Gowdie to create their own art works and display them in their windows.
They could also tune in to Colourful Radio at 10.27am when it played the Lambeth Windrush song You Can Get It If You Really Wantwhich was created for last year’s Windrush event. The time 10.27am pays tribute to the 1,027 passengers who arrived on the Empire Windrush in 1948.
Rush premiered at 2pm in Brixton Village and on the Pegasus YouTube channel.
For downloads visit the council’s Windrush 2021 webpage.
The Brixton Project and Brixton Village combined to support Windrush elders and promote local talent.
“We really wanted to help create a space for our elders to connect and reunite, especially following a tough year where many of the elders in our community and throughout the UK were isolated and alone,” Binki Taylor from The Brixton Project explained.
“We viewed this as an opportunity to honour their enduring contribution and also to show care for them as individuals.”
The Brixton Project stressed the commemorations centred around utilising the creative skills of Brixton and South London residents.
“We have a huge pool of incredibly talented local creatives right here in Brixton, that reflect local culture and heritage in their work,” it said.
“We take every opportunity to give them a platform and amplify the voice and perspective of local people.
“The promotion of arts and cultural programmes involving local people is hugely important in strengthening the cultural definition of Brixton and the diverse communities and cultures that contribute to shaping it.
“After the year we have lived through, community-created cultural programming like Windrush brings a bit of joy as well as focus on the issues that we care deeply about.”
Celebrations continue this weekend with the Brixton Village Lates.
And there is still time to snap yourself at the recreated Harry Jacobs portrait parlour at 11 Market Row.
The Lates are run by local DJ couple the Hanson Family.
Intergenerational celebration lunch with the Domino Club and the Make A Difference Afro-Caribbean Senior Citizens Group. Lost in Brixton (Brixton Market) 12-3pm.
Harry Jacobs’ Portrait Parlour Recreated at Unit 11 Market Row – until Monday 28 June. Get the details.
Online conversation on 22 June with Baroness Floella Benjamin, author Benjamin Zephaniah and Black Cultural Archives learning and engagement manager Dr Ayshah Johnston, chaired by chaired by journalist Kieran Yates. It will explore the themes in Benjamin Zephaniah’s book, Windrush Child. Book tickets.
Windrush Family Event: Saturday June 26 11am – 4pm, Black Cultural Archives, Windrush Square. Authors will read from the Black Cultural Archives’ new Windrush children’s book. Plus Q & A sessions for children with Windrush elders. Plus a fun Windrush fact trail: follow clues to find objects, photos, and info about the Windrush journeys – tickets.
The BCA will also be facilitating “Windrush Journeys” workshops for groups of school students – register an interest.
Workshops on Windrush history and culture for children with Know Your Caribbean and the Just Vibez collective of DJs, MCs, authors and more, at the Greenhouse, Pop Brixton, 2-4pm, 22 June, including colouring corner for children aged 3-10
Evening of sounds of the Caribbean at Pop Box:
- 6pm – Know your Caribbean will give a brief history of the Windrush Generation and how it set the foundation for today’s Brixton.
- 6:15pm – Local poets will perform pieces inspired by the Windrush Generation.
- 6:20pm – A steel band plays West Indian classics.
- 6:40pm – Calypsonian D’Alberto performs songs from the Windrush era and modern classics.
- 7pm – Local singer FLOetic Lara performs her songs about Brixton and the Windrush era.
- 7:15pm – Just Vibez DJs and guests play reggae classics.
- 8pm to close Windrush party. Everyone welcome.
Brixton Village Lates – live and DJ performances celebrating the Windrush community – Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 June, Brixton Village courtyard.
The Lates are run by local DJ couple the Handson Family.
On Saturday (26 June) from 7 to 10:30pm, the Just Vibez collective of Caribbean DJs and MCs play soca, calypso and dancehall.
On Sunday (27 June) from 12 to 4pm DJ Melvina Moves and Brixton MC Papa Scotchie take you on a journey through the golden years of revival and roots reggae to celebrate the Windrush heritage they both hail from.