Saturday 17 June 2023
£30 Full Price
This event has taken place.
From War to Windrush 75 is an afternoon of talks and performances marking the 75th anniversary of the landing of the Empire Windrush in Britain in 1948. Hosted by Leonie Elliot, actor and star of Call The Midwife.
Followed by an after-hours private view of IWM's Second World War Galleries.
Speakers & Performers
Leonie is an actress best known for her role as Lucille Anderson, a nurse from Jamaica who came over as part of the Windrush Generation in the BBC series Call the Midwife. She also starred in the 2022 National Theatre adaptation of Andrea Levy's Small Island. Her family emigrated from Jamaica in the 1960s.
Bonnie Greer, OBE, is an American-British playwright, novelist and critic. Her plays have been produced on the BBC and in the West End. She was Deputy Chairman of the British Museum’s Board of Trustees and is former Chancellor of Kingston University.
Actor David Harewood is well known for his role of J’onn J’onzz in Supergirl, as well as starring in The Man in the High Castle, Homeland and more recently, Ten Percent where he played himself. He is the author of Maybe I Don't Belong Here: A Memoir of Race, Identity, Breakdown and Recovery’.
Trevor Phillips is a writer, television producer and former politician. He is the co-founder of the data analytics consultancy Webber Phillips, and Chairman of Green Park Interim and Executive Search. He is a Times columnist, shortlisted for Comment Writer of the Year in 2020. He is founding chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Kamal Ahmed is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of The News Movement, a new media business focused on social media channels, new audiences and digital consumption. Between 2018 and 2021, Kamal was Editorial Director of BBC News. Kamal’s first book, The Life and Times of a Very British Man, was published by Bloomsbury in 2018.
© Naomi Woddis
Dr Anthony Joseph is an award-winning Trinidad-born poet, novelist, academic and musician. He is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Kings College, London. His 2018 novel Kitch: A Fictional Biography of a Calypso Icon was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize, the Royal Society of Literature’s Encore Award and longlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. His latest poetry collection Sonnets for Albert won the 2022 T. S. Eliot Prize and the poetry category for the 2023 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. It was also shortlisted for The Forward Prize for Best Collection 2022.
Patrick Vernon has led the campaign for a national Windrush Day since 2010 and in 2018 kick-started the campaign for an amnesty for the Windrush Generation in response to the Windrush Scandal. He is a writer and broadcaster for national and international media on healthcare, cultural heritage and race, and co-authored 100 Great Black Britons. He is also an IWM Associate.
Dr Les Johnson is a Visiting Research Fellow at Birmingham City University, and also the founder and Chair of the National Windrush Museum which is dedicated to researching, exhibiting, and preserving the legacy of the Windrush generation and their successors. He received his PhD for research on cultural visualisation, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
Dr Angelina Osborne is an independent researcher and heritage consultant. She received her PhD in History from the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull in 2014. Her interests focus on Caribbean enslavement and proslavery discourses, and the history of community and education activism.
Shirley May is a poet from the Speakeasy Collective in Manchester and has co-managed the collective for five years. She is also the Creative Director and CEO of Wordsmith Awards /Young Identity, and an alumni member of Commonword's writing development agency. Shirley was elected Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2020.
Sunder Katwala is the director of British Future, a non-partisan thinktank working on issues of migration, integration, race and identity. He has previously worked as a journalist, as leader writer and internet editor at the Observer. His new book How To Be A Patriot is published by Harper North in May 2023.
Anne McElvoy is Executive Editor of Politico and for the past seven years has run The Economist’s podcasts. Anne has written her weekly politics column for the Evening Standard for over 20 years. She is a presenter of Start the Week on BBC Radio 4, panellist for the Moral Maze and host of Week in Westminster.
A specialist in pre and post-war history, Garry has worked as a Black heritage consultant on wide-ranging projects across the UK. Garry is currently Director of Recognize, a platform he created to deliver Black history community projects.
Many people know about the contribution of the Windrush Generation to our public services, like the NHS and public transport. Far fewer are aware that these pioneers had often already served the 'mother country' in the fight against Hitler's Nazi Germany. IWM's event will take us to the earlier stops on the Windrush journey - to the battlefield, the field hospital and the fighter cockpit.
People worry that conversations about Britain's history may be divisive, especially on issues of race and Empire. But what we've seen with Windrush 75 is that engaging with our shared history can actually bring people together. There is a real appetite to learn more about the Windrush story and how it shaped the society we live in today.
What role did the British Empire play in the Second World War?
In 1940 the British Empire contained a quarter of the world's population and a fifth of its landmass, all of which, bar Ireland, was also at war with Germany. Far from standing alone, as the war spread across the globe, Britain relied on the people, land and resources of its Empire to continue fighting. IWM Curator Vikki Hawkins takes an in-depth look at the role of the British Empire in the Second World War.
The Rise of the Windrush Narrative
No account of the history of post-war migration and the making of modern Britain would today omit the Windrush. Yet that was not always the case, writes guest author Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future.
© IWM CH 13438
War to Windrush and Beyond
For many of the men and women who journeyed to the UK from the Caribbean in the post-war period, it was not an arrival but a return.
Lead graphic © IWM (Montage made up of IWM collection images alongside Shutterstock and Alamy-licensed photography: © IWM CH 12263; © Shutterstock; © Alamy; © Alamy; © Alamy; © IWM PLP 3836D).