I-Mmigrate Exhibition opens at The Museum of Gloucester
By David Wood
Where: The Museum of Gloucester, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1HP
When: Saturday, February 15, to Saturday, April 18
Nowans Community Trust is showcasing its projects, the Lives of Colour I-Mmigrate exhibition and the Authors of Colour book club initiative, in partnership with The Museum of Gloucester.
The exhibition tells the personal stories of people of the Windrush generation who settled in Gloucester and Gloucestershire. The I-Mmigrate exhibition focuses on the stories of working age adults and children from the Caribbean who were invited to come to the UK from 1948 by the British government, which was facing a labour shortage.
It also recounts the African diaspora to Gloucester, many of whom who came to the city through a cultural exchange programme, through images and oral histories.
These have been captured by Lives of Colour working in collaboration with photojournalism students at the University of Gloucestershire over the past year.
Florence Thomas, from Lives of Colour, said the exhibition was the "first of its kind" to be held in Gloucester. She said: "It has been a year-long project working with the students at the university. We have had to find the people who are featured in the exhibition and capture their stories. It has been fascinating hearing those stories and how they came to be in Gloucester and Gloucestershire."
Many of the Windrush generation arrived in London and were moved to places needing their labour.
Florence said: "One of our stories is of Mr Dennis who came alone as a 14-year-old in the 1960s. He arrived in London and then came to Gloucester where he was trained as an engineer. Others from Africa came through a cultural educational exchange which brought them to Gloucester."
Student Noemi Filetti said: "The moments I enjoyed most during the development of this project have been seeing the people opening and accepting us, allowing us to build a connection and break the walls between our different communities."
Philip Walker, head of cultural services with responsibility for the Museum of Gloucester, said: "The museum is delighted to be supporting this exciting exhibition and to be hosting it here in Gloucester. The stories that have been captured are fascinating and we're looking forward to welcoming the community to the exhibition, which we anticipate will be extremely popular."
Cllr Steve Morgan, cabinet member for culture and leisure at Gloucester City Council concluded: "It is particularly important to the city of Gloucester that this exhibition is held in The Museum of Gloucester, to acknowledge the diversity that the city is known for.
"The portraits are particularly fitting to Gloucester where we celebrate the diverse strengths and stories of what make us human."
The exhibition, which is the first of its kind to be staged in the city, opens on Saturday, February 15, and runs until Saturday 18 April. Entry is free.
It has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and aims to showcase the diverse community in Gloucester and Gloucestershire.
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