Sofia Aatkar is a Midlands4Cities funded PhD student at Nottingham Trent University where she teaches on the ‘Black Writing in Britain’ module. Her research focuses on Caribbean-British travel literature and she is interested in how Caribbean authors write into a genre which has been accused of perpetuating imperial sentiment.
To commemorate the Windrush’s 70th anniversary, Sofia and Kelsi Delaney (Midlands4Cities, University of Leicester) directed the ‘Caribbean Journeys’ project which was committed to giving a platform to the previously undocumented stories of Caribbean migrants living in Nottingham. In collaboration with the National Caribbean Heritage Museum and Journey to Justice, they designed and hosted a series of travel writing workshops for The Gedling Caribbean Elders Group. Sofia and Kelsi published the participants’ travelogues as an anthology called Caribbean Journeys. Some narratives describe a journey from the Caribbean to Nottingham whereas others recall a return visit to the Caribbean; some contributions are humorous in tone, but others describe the hostile environment encountered in the UK. The variety of stories within the anthology reflects the diverse nature of migration experiences, not only for those living as part of the Caribbean diaspora, but on a global scale, too.
Caribbean Journeys is available in several university and public libraries across the UK, but Sofia and Kelsi are hoping to produce the text as an eBook. Sofia won a cultural engagement award for her work on the project and for the work she undertook with Peepal Tree Press.
The Caribbean Journeys project was generously funded by Midlands4Cities.