On 22 June 72 years ago, the Empire Windrush landed at Tilbury Docks, Essex. Carrying passengers from various islands in the West Indies the Empire Windrush landed on British shores and represented the first wave of post-war immigration. Passengers came from Bermuda, Trinidad, Jamaica and British Guiana, answering the call to assist Britain in recovering from the devastation caused by the Second World War.
The collection of free stay-at-home activities below includes background reading material, a documentary film telling the story of former Southwark Mayor and Empire Windrush passenger Sam King, digital animations and a creative soundscape featuring testimonies of the Windrush generation, an online play, and a festival event hosted by the Windrush Foundation.
‘No Dogs’ Animations by Flintlock Theatre
No Dogs is a combined theatre and animations project funded by Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Led by Flintlock Theatre, the project seeks to explore the shared and contrasting experiences of Afro-Caribbean and Irish people who emigrated to the U.K. in the mid-twentieth century, and the evolving relationship to Britishness of their descendants.
In the first stage of the project, interviews were gathered with British Afro-Caribbean and Irish people of all ages. In collaboration with Middlesex University Animation, led by BAFTA-winner Jonathan Hodgson, graduating students animated excerpts from these testimonies, bringing to life stories that offer a unique glimpse into the lived experience of two of the largest immigrant groups in the U.K.
To mark Windrush Day 2020, four of the animations featuring British Afro-Caribbean stories are being previewed, available to watch for one month by clicking on the image above.
In 2021, a play inspired by these and the other donated stories and written by Carmen Harris and Anna Glynn will tour across the U.K., accompanied by the animations.
The Story of Sam King
One of the passengers of the Empire Windrush was Sam King MBE (1926-2016). He was an RAF serviceman, one of the founders of the Notting Hill Carnival, and the first Black Mayor of Southwark.
The documentary film The Story of Sam King, made by Black Heroes Foundation, explores Sam King’s personal story, featuring family photos and interviews with his son Pastor Michael King, granddaughter Dione McDonald, and Dawn Hill, Chair of Black Cultural Archives.
The film was screened at Tate Modern in 2019 and has been part of the Wandsworth Arts Fringe and Camberwell Arts Festival 2020.
Also available to watch is an introduction to the documentary, featuring a conversation between Joyce Fraser, Chair of Black Heroes Foundation, and Pastor Michael King.
Director: Quince Garcia
Editor: Adam Boome
Presenter: Joyce Fraser
Interviewees: Dawn Hill, Reverend Michael King, Dione McDonald, Patrick Vernon
Photography: Stephen Cameron
Commissioned & Produced by: Black Heroes Foundation
Funded by: Peckham & Nunhead Neighbourhoods Fund 2018/19