Windrush: Portrait of a Generation opens at Fairfield Halls

19 Sept 2019 to Jan 2020

This September, Windrush: Portrait of a Generation, a major exhibition documenting the lives and traditions of the ‘Windrushers’ who settled in South London, will play an important part in the programme of launch events taking place at Fairfield Halls, Croydon’s newly-refurbished state of the art cultural complex.

The stunning photo-story, which received widespread acclaim when it was first exhibited for a limited time at the Oxo Gallery on the South Bank last year, will be showcased in the heart of Fairfield Halls in the new Arnhem Foyer for four months from 19 September 2019 to January 2020.

Photographed by award-winning social documentary photographer Jim Grover, the exhibition comprises some 60 predominantly black and white photographs and accompanying narratives from many of the individuals featured.

The photographs are themed into groups of photo-stories that, together, encompass the daily lives of the Windrush generation including; community clubs; customs, dancing; faith; family gatherings; the Jamaican home; service to the mother country; funerals; and ‘Nine Night’ (a tradition which marks the passing of a loved one). Extended photo-stories running as slide shows, bring to life a typical Jamaican funeral and the playing of dominoes.

The exhibition leads with an opening portrait and personal story from Alford Gardner, now aged 93 and one of the few surviving passengers from the original Empire Windrush voyage. To co-incide with Black History Month this October, Gardner will be making a personal appearance at the Fairfield Halls exhibition to meet and talk with visitors.

Neil Chandler, Venue and Artistic Director of Fairfield Halls comments: “I am thrilled that this very moving and sensitively photographed exhibition will be showcased as part of Fairfield Halls opening programme of events to mark our grand launch. I first came across it last year and was struck not only by the stunning images but by the powerful and emotional connection it had on the many who saw it. It’s fitting that this exhibition documenting a highly significant episode in British history will have a four-month residency here among Croydon’s richly diverse community and in particular its Caribbean community; this photo story is also their story and it is truly inspiring.”

The exhibition will also be accompanied by a book of the same name, which will be on sale at the venue and available on Amazon.