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The exhibition giving voices to the migrant community in Gloucestershire

Gloucester > Entertainment > Music

Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Monday, 24th February 2020, 09:00

Some of the local people involved in the exhibition Some of the local people involved in the exhibition

An exhibition is underway at the Museum of Gloucester bringing light to the experiences of black and ethnic minority communities in Gloucestershire.

I-MMigrate will feature the stories of 20 members of the migrant community, including members of the Windrush generation.

The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and has been put together by Nowans Community Trust, with the assistance of photojournalism students from the University of Gloucestershire, under the initiative called ‘Lives of Colour’.

“Lives of Colour has been set up through the Nowans Community Trust,” said co-founder Florence Nyasamo-Thomas, “in order to demonstrate how diversity, inclusion and participation across all members of our community have been and continue to contribute to our lives.

“Our aim is to promote diversity, inclusion and representation for people from different backgrounds.”

Florence was born in Kenya but grew up in the UK and has lived in Cheltenham for nearly 18 years.

She founded Nowans Community Trust a decade ago and started the Lives of Colour initiative two years ago and says the idea for the exhibition came about when she was asked to do a keynote speech on African diaspora in Gloucestershire.

“When I went to do research for the speech I was looking through the archives,” she explained.

“There was not much information at all, so for this reason I wanted to tell the stories of the people whose voices aren’t heard.”

Over half a million people migrated to the UK from the Caribbean in the years following the Second World War and were labelled the ‘Windrush generation’.

In 1990, many Africans came to Cheltenham through the education and cultural programme in partnership with The Rendezvous Society, and the formation of a ‘friendship town’ link between Kisumu and Cheltenham Borough Council led to many Kenyans settling in Cheltenham.

Florence says the I-MMigrate exhibition is designed to tell their stories.
She continued: “There are pictures and also audio, so people can listen to the stories without any judgement.

“People have come to us and nominated family members who they thought should be involved.

“The University of Gloucestershire students who have been doing the project have been amazing. There is one from Italy and one from Germany, and as migrants themselves it has been a great learning experience.”

The exhibition began on Saturday 15th February and runs throughout March and until Saturday 18th April.

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