Portrait exhibition launched immortalising the NHS contribution of Windrush Generation
Here To Stay is a portrait series documenting the impact of the Windrush generation in the formation and contributions to the NHS.
Having recently celebrated 70 years of the NHS, it’s important to remember that this year also marks the 70 year anniversary of the Windrush landing.
The Windrush generation got their name from the ship which brought the first group of people over from Jamaica, after the British Government put an urgent call out for people to help rebuild the nation after the Second World War.
HMT Empire Windrush brought one of the first large groups of post-war West Indian immigrants to the United Kingdom, carrying 1027 passengers on a voyage from Jamaica to London in 1948.
The exhibition has been curated by Birmingham photographer and artist Inès Elsa Dalal, who is keen to recognise that both of these events happened in 1948.
“It’s no coincidence that both of these momentous occasions occurred in the same year,” she says.
“This exhibition provides a long overdue acknowledgement of the international infrastructure of the NHS; focusing on the Caribbean contribution due to the dual 70 year anniversaries of both the NHS and arrival of the Windrush Generation.”
The work is ever more important in the current political climate in the UK where, earlier this year, it was discovered that the Home Office destroyed the landing cards of people arriving from the Caribbean in 2010, meaning that a whole generation of people where unable to prove that they had arrived in the UK even after they had been told that they could stay.
It’s not the first time that Inès has produced portraits documenting the contribution of people migrating to the UK, was a potent and humbling look at the West Indian war veterans that had fought in the British army.
Inès says the goal is to get as many people talking about the significance of the Windrush generation within the NHS and is trying to raise funds through their crowdfunder in order to extend the exhibition and take it on a tour.
If you want to see the portraits and stories for yourself, you can catch the Birmingham leg of the ‘Here To Stay’ exhibition tour between 16th-29th September, at the Medicine Gallery in New Street.