Rethinking Windrush: 70 Years On

Sun 17 June 2018 13:00 – 17:00

This June 22nd marks the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the HMS Empire Windrush to the Port of Tilbury.

The ship brought 492 passengers from Jamaica to the UK, many of whom were ex-servicemen who had fought for Britain in the Second World War, and all were in fact British subjects, rather than ‘migrants’, and as such came with full citizenship rights. It is often forgotten that those who lived under British colonialism only became subject to immigration controls in the UK after 1962.

The Windrush heralded the ‘irresistible rise of multiracial Britain’ and with it sparked debate and discussion about immigration, Britishness and ‘race relations’. The arrival of just a few hundred ‘coloured immigrants’ from the New Commonwealth sparked widespread consternation, despite the fact that many more ‘white’ migrants were arriving during this period. Concerns about ‘coloured immigration’ ultimately led to the implementation and hardening of border controls on those coming from the former colonies, and to the introduction of a descent-based (racial) model of citizenship. In fact, the racialised character of British immigration continues to influence who can move and who can stay in the country, and on what terms.

With this historic moment in mind, Consented brings you Rethinking Windrush, where, over two panel discussions, we will reflect not just on the significance of the Windrush in 1948, but on the legacies of the Windrush today, using the anniversary as an opportunity to discuss race, citizenship and immigration control in Britain, seventy years after the ship’s historic arrival.

Speakers TBA shortly.

This event will take place on the 17th June from 1.00 pm at Birkbeck’s Malet Street campus in room B34. All money raised from this event goes towards covering the costs of running the event and the printing our quarterly print magazine. If you want a ticket but cannot afford to pay email

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