To commemorate National Windrush Day 2021, we’re sharing remarkable self-portraits and stories from Hackney’s Windrush generation in a new display on our building. Using a 1970s analogue photobooth to capture these portraits, Autograph partnered with Hackney Council and The Real Selfie Project who, like us, are based in Hackney and feel passionately about contributing to the visual and archival story of our borough.
Following the Second World War, thousands of people from Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean were invited by the British government to relocate to the UK to address labour shortages. They, along with their descendants, are named the ‘Windrush generation’ after the ship HMT Empire Windrush on which the first group arrived in 1948. Windrush Day was established in 2018 in the wake of a national scandal which left hundreds of people – who had by now been living in the UK for decades – unable to prove their legal immigration status. As a result, many members of the Windrush generation were denied access to healthcare, social housing and employment, while others were forcibly detained or deported.
To celebrate the Windrush generation’s legacy these photographs are now part of Hackney Archives, where they will continue to contribute to future framings of the borough’s rich histories.
Read our blog post to see more of the photographs taken and read four of the Windrush Elders' stories.Read now
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These self-portraits were taken with The Real Selfie Project for Hackney borough’s Windrush Generations Festival on Windrush Day, 22 June 2019.
All images and stories courtesy The Real Selfie Project; Autograph, London and Hackney Council
Autograph is a place to see things differently. Since 1988, we have championed photography that explores issues of race, identity, representation, human rights and social justice, sharing how photographs reflect lived experiences and shape our understanding of ourselves and others.Donate Join our mailing list