Kingston, 30 August 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has unveiled a mural exhibition in tribute to the Windrush Generation.
The exhibition is mounted at various locations in the arrival and departure sections at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.
The unveiling was witnessed by the British High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Asif Ahmad.
Minister Grange said the exhibition was a tribute to the “resilience and indomitable spirit” of a generation of Jamaicans who responded to the invitation of post-Second World War Britain for labourers to help restore services and communities.
Minister Grange said:
“From the climatic shock of cold, rainy England to the prejudices and discomforts of settling in a new and often unwelcoming environment to the reality of being alone in a strange land of reluctant neighbours, our people experienced every challenge in the book of ignorance and racism.
Yet, they were undaunted. Their fearless, feisty Jamaican heritage was enough buffer against the many challenges they confronted… Armed with their Jamaican culture, heritage and traditions, they determined to make the best for themselves and their families… Through their indomitable spirit and resilience, they developed what has become the formidable Jamaican Diaspora of the United Kingdom.”
The Windrush Mural project is a collaboration between the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the British Council. It features pieces by Jamaican and British artists: Honey Williams, Rosemarie Chung, Sheldon Blake, Tiana Anglin, Kirk Cockburn and Jamila Cooper.
The British High Commissioner said that “when the murals were commissioned as a joint endeavour between British and Jamaican artists, the idea was to capture the complex associations and attributes of Windrush. Hopes and dreams of travellers, immigrations rules which impacted the lives of families, the challenges migrants face finding work and vibrant community dynamics are just some thoughts that now find expression in the Windrush Murals.”
Minister Grange said it was a deliberate move to exhibit the Windrush Murals first at the Norman Manley International Airport as it “signifies the changing form of transport, from sea to air, for migrants,” as well as promotes the airport as an artistic and cultural space.
The Windrush Mural exhibition will be mounted at the airport for three months. Then it will move to Orange Park in Downtown, Kingston and become the entrance to the National Gallery of Jamaica for six months. Following that, the exhibition will travel across Jamaica.
Minister Grange says the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the British Council are working on other projects to memorialise aspects of the shared history of Jamaica and the United Kingdom.