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by sarah last modified 02/02/2024 10:22 AM

Celebrating Windrush

by sarah last modified 02/02/2024 10:22 AM
Celebrating Windrush

St Paul's Carnival Film Screening - Image Credit: Donovon Jackson

Festus market

Festus Market. Photo credit: KoLAB Studios

Throughout 2023, we celebrated the 75th Anniversary of Windrush through our community arts programme. Working with key partners including St Paul’s Carnival, Ujima Radio, Eastside Community Trust and the Malcolm X Centre, we created a community-led project to celebrate the communities who moved to Bristol during the 1950s and to give voice to Caribbean elders' experiences, resilience and memories.

"I had wicked fun. When are you doing it again?" Feedback, Festus

In partnership with Tamasha Theatre and Coney, we supported the creation of 'Duppy Hunter', an audio adventure set on the streets of St Paul’s. The script was developed during the summer of 2023 with the support of current and former St Paul’s residents and members of Malcom X elders. The listening experience went live in October to coincide with Black History Month. We organised a special listening party in November for the Malcolm X Elders who were unable to experience the walking tour due to their access needs.

In partnership with Eastside Community Trust, we programmed a screening of 'Barrel Children' at Easton Community Centre. The film explores the challenges of Black families separated by migration during the Windrush era.

In December, we hosted 'Festus' - an all-day event celebrating Caribbean/Black British culture. During the day we open the door for an indoor craft market led by Black traders and invited acclaimed, locally-based poet, Zaykia Mckenzie to perform to traders and visitors. Alongside this, Ofeila Balogun from Irie Dance Company led a Caribbean/African dance workshop.

As part of the evening's celebrations we screened 'Inna Wi Carnival', a documentary film commemorating the role of Bristol’s Caribbean elders in establishing the first St Paul’s Carnival. This was followed with a quiz, party games, dance floor 'foolery' and a performance by rapper/spoken word artist Jonny Steel.

Across the year the project connected with over 500 people - using arts and entertainment to share, explore and celebrate the history and experiences of the Windrush generations in Bristol. Due to the success of the Festus market, we will be working with stakeholders to bring additional events in 2024 - watch this space.

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