To Britain

people watching a video in the Life Between Islands Exhibition at Tate Britain

Tamara and I went to an exhibition at Tate Britain in London – ‘Life Between islands’ – about the experience of people migrating from the West Indies to Britain as expressed in their art. The exhibition runs until 3 April.

This photo is of a video about how the immigrants organised themselves to fight the prejudice they experienced. Sitting in front of us, watching the video, are two people who, by their hairstyles, you would guess are Black. Perhaps their parents or grandparents were from the generation who came to Britain.

You may be familiar with the prejudice that these people experienced when they moved to Britain. This was highlighted a couple of years ago when it was found that the authorities were deporting people who had spent almost their whole lives here in Britain. The reason was that they did not have the papers to proved their circumstances. And in some or many cases that was because the authorities had destroyed the papers.

Google the Windrush scandal to know more.

But that is just one face of the prejudice they faced. Boarding houses that would not take them when they came to Britain, physical attacks, the police singling them out.

Google Stephen Lawrence. He was a black British teenager from London who was murdered in a racially motivated attack while waiting for a bus. The case became a focus for exposing the racism in the police force that affected how the murder was investigated.

This next photo is of one of the rooms in the exhibition. The surreal quality of a settee and a TV in an otherwise bare room appealed to me.

room in the Life Between islands exhibition at Tate Modern

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