Windrush 70: Celebrating the Migrant Contribution to British Society
And to celebrate the landmark, Leeds Beckett University and the Windrush Day Steering Group are compiling a special edition of the university’s Race and Education Working Paper Series.
Contributions are being sought from both the academic and artistic communities, including poets, comic artists, illustrators, photographers, designers and animators to feature in the working paper.
Shirley Anne Tate, Professor of Race and Education at the Carnegie School of Education, said: “The 70th anniversary of Windrush is a chance to celebrate the lives of those who made that historic journey, and the positive impact they and others from the Caribbean have had on the UK.
The 'hostile environment' scandal and its uptake by Caribbean Prime Ministers attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 illustrates the treatment of British citizens from the Caribbean and their children who have been living and working in the UK for decades.”
MV Empire Windrush landed at Tilbury Docks on 22 June 1948, carrying more than 490 Caribbean men and women.
Since then stories of the Windrush Generation have been researched, recognised and preserved thanks to, among others, Sam King MBE, Arthur Torrington CBE, Mike and Trevor Phillips, Stuart Hall FBA, Dr Denise Nobel, Dr Michael McMillan, David Olusoga, Stephen Bourne, Marika Sherwood, S.I. Martin, Dr Angelina Osborne, Lynda Burrell and Catherine Ross.
The image of the Windrush was voted by the public in 2011 as one of the 100 most iconic symbols of British history, and a model of the liner was included in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Patrick Vernon, social commentator and advocate for Windrush Day and Windrush Amnesty, said: “This year, an increasing number of people who were born in Commonwealth countries (in particular the Caribbean), who migrated to the UK as children between 1948 and 1971, are being threatened with deportation.
“Thousands have signed petitions calling for the Government to stop deportations, change the burden of proof and establish an amnesty.
“In an attempt to challenge the negative rhetoric around migration, there has been a growing campaign to embrace Windrush 70 as a year in which to celebrate the contributions made by the ﬁrst big group of postwar immigrants from the West Indies (there had already been a Black presence in Britain for centuries), along with others who came from the British Empire.
“Also, to reach across our many different ethnic, faith and family heritages, to reject prejudice and intolerance, and to shape a fair and inclusive future that we all want to share.
“We are looking for academic and creative contributions that document, respond to and examine the activities associated with Windrush 70, and what this might suggest about the current social, economic, political and cultural context. We particularly welcome abstracts from BME scholars, artists and students.”
He added: “This year for the first time ever, Windrush Day will be celebrated during a special Churches Together service at Westminster Abbey.
“From the NHS to the British Library, from Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Windrush: Movement of the People and the Windrush Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show, to The Voice Newspaper, organisations and institutions across the country have been planning events, exhibitions, publications and awards.”
Please send abstracts of 300 words (include an example of work if submission visual/audio), plus a 50 word bio to email@example.com (Any questions to Patrick Vernon OBE, Dr Angelina Osborne, Lynda Burrell, Catherine Ross and Pen Mendonça at the same e-mail address). Closing date for abstracts: Friday 22 June.
Completed submissions required by 30 December 2018. Suggested word count: 2,000 words. Format/ ﬁle size: up to 6MB (links to appropriate external sites acceptable).