Uncover Caribbean history with Island to Island photography exhibition
- Island to Island-Dominican man-3143-007hires (C) Derek SmithA man standing by the roadside in Dominica, circa 1965. Photo by Derek Smith.
- ex-pat from Birmingham at her english cafe in Basseterre in St Kitts the birthplace of her parents (C) Tim Smith highresShukura Bahinda, a former teacher from Birmingham, at English Booth, her cafe next to the seafront in Basseterre in St Kitts.
- Bathsheba Barbados (C) Derek Smith highresThe village of Bathsheba on the Atlantic coast of Barbados, during the 1950s or 60s. Photo by Derek Smith.
- carrying sugar cane in Guyana (C) Tim Smith highresHarvesting sugarcane on the Blairmont Estate in Berbice, Guyana. The coastal region of Guyana was where sugar estates were first established in the Caribbean, and the profits made here led to the planting of sugar on the islands further north. Photo by Tim Smith.
- Island to Island-Washing clotheshires (C) Derek SmithWomen washing clothes in a river in Barbados. Photo by Derek Smith taken during between 1956 & 1968.
From Dominica to Dalston, this Black History Season residents can explore Hackney’s links to the Caribbean and look at how island life has changed over the past sixty years through a series of photographs and personal narratives.
Photographs from Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, and Trinidad & Tobago are included in the show. The images have been taken by Tim Smith over the past decade and are presented alongside those taken by his father Derek Smith during the 1950s and 60s.
The exhibition celebrates everyday life, landscapes and light of the English-speaking Caribbean, showing how the region has undergone extraordinary change.
Photographer Tim Smith said: “I wanted to produce an exhibition which moves beyond the popular stereotypes of ‘Paradise Islands’. I set out to create photographs which explore the region’s past and show how this history has shaped the Caribbean of today, which embraces an extraordinary fusion of peoples and cultures drawn from the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia, but is totally Caribbean. As you travel through the region you discover how this heritage varies from island to island, which gives each nation its own distinctive character.”
Personal narratives from Hackney residents that accompany the photographs explore various aspects of life in the Caribbean. The oral histories also look at expectations of Britain and returning home after journeys of migration.
The Island to Island exhibition is one of the highlights of the Council’s 2017 Black History Season. The exhibition celebrates Hackney’s historic links to the Caribbean and aims to show how these links have shaped Hackney as we know it today. I would encourage all residents to visit and take part in the activities on offer to learn more about this fascinating history.
The exhibition, Island to Island – Journeys through the Caribbean, will be on from 3 October 2017 to 13 January 2018.
A series of events will accompany the exhibition as part of Hackney Council’s Black History Season. These include reminisce sessions, music workshops and a full half-term programme for families. A full list of these events can be found online at www.hackney.gov.uk/black-history-month and by picking up a Black History Season events booklet at your local library.
For more information on Hackney Museum, including opening times visit www.hackney.gov.uk/museum.