Essential Information

Type Events and festivals
Location
In Greenwich
Date and Times Saturday 22 June 2024 | 10.30am - 5pm
Prices Free

HMT Empire Windrush arrived in Britain on 22 June 1948. On board were more than 800 passengers from the Caribbean.

Each year on 22 June Royal Museums Greenwich partners with the Caribbean Social Forum and other local partners to showcase Caribbean culture and the legacy of the Windrush generation in the UK today. A new addition for 2024 is the National Windrush Museum, who will contribute a co-curated series of performances as part of the festival.

This year the Windrush Day Festival will take over the grounds outside the Queen's House and National Maritime Museum, with a range of exciting activities including talks, games, spoken word performances, and a Caribbean-owned food and craft market.

See the full programme below.

This event is part of the Great Greenwich Windrush Trail, a series of events taking place across the borough of Greenwich to celebrate Windrush Day and is supported by the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

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Games and workshops

Games Without Wires

10.30am - 5pm | Queen's House Undercroft
The Caribbean Social Forum return with their popular collection of board games for all ages.

Dominos

10.30am - 5pm | West Central Lawns
Learn how to play dominos from the best with the Caribbean Social Forum - join for a game, or just come and watch!

Family craft workshop

10.30am - 5pm | Rethink Space, National Maritime Museum

Talks

Archiving Black women’s experiences

3pm - 4pm | The Great Hall, Queen's House
Royal Museums Greenwich's Head of Research and Curatorship Helen Mears is joined by three expert speakers to reflect on the failure of ‘mainstream’ museums and archives to fully reflect the voices and perspectives of Black women.

In looking to the future, the speakers propose radical, creative strategies to centre these experiences and to ensure that future historical accounts are more equitable than those of the past.

Speakers:
Denize Ledeatte (Panel Chair): Denize is Director of the National Windrush Museum, a new organisation dedicated to researching, exhibiting, promoting and preserving the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Windrush pioneers, their antecedents and successors.

Angelina Osborne: Angelina is an independent researcher and heritage consultant. She received her PhD in History from the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull. Her interests focus on Caribbean enslavement and proslavery discourses, and the history of community and education activism. She is co-author of the best-selling book 100 Great Black Britons.

Pauline Rutter: Pauline is an Archival Artist, community and organisational poet and researcher with a background in fine art, education, sustainability, and activism. Recent creative work includes investigations expressed through the The Black Living Archive initiative, the We Hear You Now project and the installation Lifting Us Up- Saluting Our Sisters, which was displayed at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery.

Talks hosted by the Caribbean Social Forum:

 

Caribbean - How can we use archaeology for healing and repair today

12pm - 12.45pm 

This talk will explore the reparative role of archaeology. What can the archaeology in the Caribbean and beyond tell us about the past, and how can we use this knowledge to inform the future? How can we use archaeology to centre the deep connections between our bodies, lands and histories, to support our capacities for healing, equity and justice?

Laura Hampden is a Curatorial Archaeologist at Historic England. She has worked in the Development Led Archaeology sector for over ten years. She currently sits on the Equality and Diversity advisory committee of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and is a founding member of the European Society of Black and Allied Archaeologists, and the Society for Teaching and Learning in Archaeology and Heritage. 

Windrush, War and Racism

1pm - 1.45pm

Tony Warner, founder of Black History Walks, will reference his pioneering book Black History Walks Volume 1 to discuss numerous Black World War II heroes and their links to Black British civil rights. The talk will cover the period from 1945 right up to 2024 and explore the multiple connections between African and Caribbean resources, how the war was won, and the fight against British inequality led by Caribbean WW2 veterans.

Lost Windrush Memories

2pm - 2.45pm

In 2012 the 'Windrush generation', people who came to the UK from the various Caribbean colonies between 1948 and 1971, had to provide evidence of their right of residency after living most of their lives in the UK. Whilst many could remember their early childhood, there were others who couldn’t, and their family, siblings or friends may not have always been able to help them. A UK study by UCL suggests Black people are more likely to develop dementia than white and South Asian people.

Join Professor Tony Leiba for this interactive presentation highlighting how yesterday may not always be ours to recover, and the importance of planning today for our tomorrows.

The session will enable participants to share their knowledge and experiences of dementia and to offer some suggestions on how to manage and how to look at the challenging behaviours a person with dementia might present.

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History and art

Family history

10.30am - 4pm | Caird Library, National Maritime Museum

Find out more about your ancestors with the help of the Caribbean Family History Group and our Caird Library and Archive team.

Windrush Retold residency

Join artists-in-residence Griffi and Rosie in the studio on the ground floor of the National Maritime Museum, where you'll get a look at their collection of objects and artworks, and contribute to evolving ideas for exploring Windrush stories.

Objects in Focus

10.30am – 2pm 

Come and explore objects relating to the Windrush era of travel from the Caribbean to the UK with our curatorial team.

Caribbean-owned food and craft market

North West and North East Lawns

This year, you can find delicious food from Cummin’ Up, Caribbean Hut, Port Royal and Global Vegan Bakery on our North West Lawn, as well as a variety of craft stalls on our North East Lawn.

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Performances

Spoken word and music

Queen's House Lawns

Tony from Play it on Pan will fill the air with Caribbean sounds throughout the day.

Queen's House colonnades

Spoken word and music will take over the Queen's House colonnades, with performances by emerging London talent, co-curated with the National Windrush Museum.

What is Windrush Day?

On 22 June 1948, Caribbean migrants arrived in the UK on the Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks in Essex, their first stop before travelling towards London.

The Empire Windrush, photographed in 1930 (P67110CT)

Many people from British Commonwealth countries travelled to the UK between 1948 and 1971, encouraged by the 1948 British Nationality Act that granted citizenship and right of abode to all members of the British Empire.

On arrival in the UK however, people were often met with racism, lack of acknowledgement of their professional skills and very different living conditions.

Windrush Day is a chance to celebrate British Caribbean communities, and acknowledge the sacrifices and contributions the Windrush generation and their descendants have made to British society.

The Windrush arrival marked a turning point, when Caribbeans came here to help re-build Britain, to work in the transport system, factories and the newly created NHS. So for those who had to overcome so much adversity, it has great significance”

 

Baroness Floella Benjamin

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