1476001: Some of the thousands disembarking from the liner Begona at Southampton shortly before the Commonwealth Immigration Act came into force, 2 July 1962
Hackney-based visual arts charity, Autograph, presents a new outdoor display and online gallery sharing the journey of the Windrush generation before, during and after arriving in the UK. The images in the display and online gallery are from original negatives and prints rediscovered in TopFoto.
Following the Second World War, thousands of people from Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean were invited by the British government to relocate to the UK to address labour shortages. They, along with their descendants, are often referred to as the Windrush generation, after the ship HMT Empire Windrush on which the first group arrived in 1948.In 2020, Autograph acquired a portfolio of 37 works from the TopFoto archives, some of which can be seen for the first time in an outdoor display on the side of the gallery in London, punctuated with the profound words of Professor Stuart Hall. This free public display is accompanied by a new online gallery on Autograph’s website.These works share the journey before, during and after arriving in the UK. These important photographs, alongside their stories, are now part of Autograph’s permanent collection of photography that aims to preserve the legacy of important narratives that have contributed to British history.
0111614: Train Journey to the Land of Promise, 1 May 1954
0977017: A first glimpse of England, Southampton Docks, 30 November 1961 1475999: A woman disembarking from the liner Begona at Southampton, shortly before the Commonwealth Immigration Act came into force, 30 June 1962
Since 1988, Autograph has championed photography that explores issues of race, identity, representation, human rights and social justice, sharing how photographs reflect lived experiences and shape our understanding of ourselves and others. autograph.org.uk
Acknowledgements Journeys to Hope is part of Resilient Heritage, a project to increase access to Autograph’s collection and ensure robust collection care.
Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players.
The images in the display and online gallery are from TopFoto, one of the world’s great independent photographic archives, since 1927. In 2020 TopFoto was awarded a Cultural Recovery Grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to protect their internationally significant collections. Find out more at topfoto.co.uk
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