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Portraits of Britain: Community

Windrush: Portrait of a Generation by Jim Grover

Reading Time: 4 minutes 70 years ago, on 22 June 1948, HMT Empire Windrush anchored at Tilbury Docks, Essex, carrying 492 men, women, and children from former British Caribbean colonies, who came to be known as the “Windrush generation”. They crossed the Atlantic in response to Britain’s post-war labour shortages, and are now recognised to have transformed vital parts aspects of British society. Amid the recent scandals surrounding the mistreatment of the Windrushers by the Home Office, Jim Grover’s Windrush: Portrait of a Generation seeks to give a more intimate insight into the lives of one community of Caribbean migrants – and their families – who made a corner of South London their home. On show at gallery@oxo until 10 June, the exhibition doesn’t specifically address current issues, but Grover hopes it will help celebrate a group which “truly deserves our respect and admiration”. 

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A society beset with fragmentation.

With just over half the British population voting to leave the EU in 2016, what remained was a Britain at odds with itself. Cities against countryside, youth against the elderly, England and Wales against Scotland and Northern Ireland. Today, post-Brexit, the lasting consequences of our self-expulsion from Europe remain clouded as ever — as does the question of our national identity.

In the Portraits of Britain collection, we probe what it means to be British today; we celebrate the many faces of a divided nation, and the photographers who have captured them.

In this collection: