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Mayor of London to host free event marking Windrush 70

CARIBBEAN CONTRIBUTIONS: The event at City Hall will explore the lives and impact of people from the Caribbean through food, talks, performances and more

THE MAYOR of London Sadiq Khan has announced plans to mark the 70th anniversary of the Windrush migration at City Hall.

On Saturday June 30, City Hall will host a free event to bring to life the story of the Windrush arrival in London. The varied programme will feature talks, music, workshops and film screenings, in honour of the Windrush generation and those who’ve since followed.

Talks, spoken-word performances and panel discussions will take place throughout City Hall, with the conversations and personal testimonies in the chamber chaired by broadcaster Brenda Emmanus. Contributions will come from journalist and author Afua Hirsch, artistic director of the Young Vic Kwame Kwei-Armah, publisher Sharmaine Lovegrove and Labour and Co-op London Assembly member Jennette Arnold and excerpt performances from Talawa Theatre.

Matthew Ryder, QC, deputy mayor for social integration, social mobility and community engagement, said: “The arrival of the Windrush generation was an iconic moment that shaped modern Britain. In light of the recent immigration scandal surrounding the treatment of the Windrush Generation, it is more important than ever to shine a light on their stories and highlight the important contribution the Caribbean community has made to our city.”

The event will be opened by the mayor and Baroness Floella Benjamin. The top floor of City Hall, London’s Living Room, will be hosted by Penguin, featuring a mix of readings and talks from Linton Kwesi Johnson, Nikesh Shukla, Colin Grant and Bernardine Evaristo.

Penguin will also hold workshops for children and young adults to get them thinking creatively about storytelling and getting their voice heard. Outside City Hall in The Scoop there will be a music stage including performances from Sister Audrey, Alicai Harley and Black Slate.

The central entrance to City Hall will feature an exhibition curated by gal-dem – Windrush Women. As part of the Mayor’s year-long #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign, this exhibition of portraits and illustrations will shine a light on pioneering Caribbean women. They will also transform the café into a West Indian kitchen exhibition and installation, enabling people to step inside a kitchen modelled on a West Indian home, and to explore heritage, culture and migration through food.

Audiences will have the opportunity to listen to migration audio stories of the experience of arriving in London. They will have the chance to hear a range of voices, such as a Nigerian barber who arrived eight years ago, a Jamaican war veteran and calypso star who came to London in 1933.

A conversational booth invites guests to share their own stories with Voluntary Arts and BBC Radio capturing and broadcasting stories on the day about arrival in London. Boat-making workshops will run along with archive material and Windrush suitcases from Hackney Museum.

Signposting to legal advice and other support services will also be available during the event.

Event details
Location: City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London, SE1 2AA
Date: 30th June 2018
Time: 11.00 – 20.00
Entry: Free

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