Home: Remembering the Windrush Generation

HOME: Remembering the Windrush Generation, is a new exhibition at the Black Cultural Archives (BCA), Windrush Square.

The homes of the Windrush generation from the 1950s and 1960s have been painstakingly and lovingly recreated using carefully chosen furniture, artefacts, and styles of the of the time. It is a nostalgic and intimate journey into the domestic lives of that generation of immigrants who settled in Brixton.

It is full of wonderful detail and features many iconic items  such as the Blue Spot Gramaphone, glass ornaments and kitchen gadgets. Many will remember those times, but younger visitors will be able to travel back in time to the homes of their parents and grandparents and get an authentic sense of their daily lives.

photo by Sharron Wallace

Launching the exhibition on Windrush Day marks the anniversary of the arrival of passengers from the MV Empire Windrush at the Port of Tilbury, on 22nd June 1948. Invited by the British government, men and women from different Caribbean islands came to help rebuild Britain after WW2. 

The exhibition is curated by Tony Fairweather, the founder of the Windrush Collection, a touring exhibition of artefacts associated with the Windrush generation.

Tony says of sharing this key piece of British history with the wider modern-day public: “This exhibition was inspired by wanting to continue the legacy of our elders. This was an ideal opportunity to showcase the Caribbean lifestyle of the 50s & 60s, when Brixton was the hub of Caribbean life” 

Although this is an affectionate slice of domestic life, it is also a reminder of the blatant racism faced by the Windrush generation and the all too common “No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs” signs outside houses. Life was hard for most and this show is a testimony to the courage and resilience of those first immigrants who built a life for themselves and their descendants. I loved it. Go and see it if you can.

HOME: ‘Remembering the Windrush Generation runs until 10 September in  the Black Cultural Archives, Windrush Square. Open Thursday to Saturday, 11:30am – 5pm. Entry: £5 general admission, £3 concessions