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London is the Place, London, this lovely city

Photograph: Windrush Bus Notting hill Carnival, London, 2019

This year marked the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the ship Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks, Essex. The ship has become symbolic of the generation who travelled from the Caribbean to settle in, and help rebuild, Britain in the decades after the Second World War.

I was so grateful to have the chance to do a community art project this year with my daughter exploring what Windrush means to us.

My daughter's father and grandparents were from St Thomas in Jamaica. Her grandparents travelled first to England to establish a home and later her father as a young boy made the long journey some 5000 miles to England. The Windrush generation have made a huge contribution to Britain but mostly, as a mother I feel such a debt of gratitude and love, as without them making this journey I wouldn't have my daughter in my life. Her grandmother and father passed away a few years ago so sometimes it is only the memories you have left that keep their spirits alive and help you to stay connected to you.

So this 75 anniversary made me reflect on journeys, family, love and the importance of community.

We made a giant blueprint (cyanotype) together and called it The Light We Carry inspired from a quote by Michelle Obama and linked to a theme of inheritance - see the Blueprint here.


© Tracey Thorne
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