Celebrating 75 Years of Caribbean Culture at York Castle Museum – Objeks and Tings

in York

An extraordinary exhibition titled “Objeks & Tings” is set to open at the York Castle Museum, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Windrush Generation. Running from June 19 to November 1, 2024, this unique exhibition offers a captivating glimpse into the lives and contributions of Caribbean immigrants to British society.

The Exhibition

Curated by Museumand, The National Caribbean Heritage Museum, “Objeks & Tings” features 70 everyday items that connect us to the Windrush Generation.

These objects, ranging from cooking utensils and household goods to food packaging and beauty supplies, tell the story of Caribbean culture’s integration into British life. The exhibition also includes music, games, books, newspapers, and even funeral items, offering a comprehensive look at the experiences and heritage of Caribbean immigrants.

Founders’ Vision

Museumand was founded by the dynamic mother and daughter team, Catherine Ross and Lynda Burrell. They designed this travelling exhibition as an engaging way to share the stories of the Windrush Generation and their descendants. Accompanying the exhibition is a hardback book by Catherine and Lynda, available at the York Castle Museum shop, and a podcast that delves deeper into the narratives presented.

Catherine Ross, Founder Director at Museumand, expressed her excitement about bringing “Objeks & Tings” to York:

“We are so elated to bring ‘Objeks & Tings’ to York. As aspects of Caribbean culture are so entwined with British culture and Yorkshire’s cultural traditions especially, this leg of our tour across the UK is particularly exciting for us. We hope to eke out more stories from people of the Caribbean diaspora and others that know about the islands and their peoples.”

Local Collaboration

Philip Newton, Community Participation Manager at York Museums Trust, highlighted the significance of the exhibition:

“What an insight into the lives of this generation this exhibition gives us. Little pieces of the Caribbean which arrived on the landing of SS Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks on 22 June 1948, carrying passengers from the Caribbean who had been invited by Britain to help with post-war construction.”

Newton further noted how these items continued to be part of the new lives embarked upon by this generation, passing them down to their children and becoming integrated into British identity. The exhibition’s title, “Objeks & Tings,” nods to patois, the traditional language of many Caribbeans, reflecting the importance of these items to the Windrush Generation.

Exhibition Highlights

  • Cooking and Household Goods: Essential items that reflect the culinary traditions and domestic life of Caribbean families.
  • Food Packaging: A display of iconic food brands and products that have become staples in both Caribbean and British kitchens.
  • Beauty Supplies: A showcase of beauty products that highlight the unique cultural aesthetics of the Caribbean.
  • Music and Games: Items that represent the vibrant musical heritage and recreational activities cherished by Caribbean communities.
  • Books and Newspapers: Literature and periodicals that offer insight into the cultural and intellectual contributions of Caribbean immigrants.
  • Funeral Items: Artifacts that provide a glimpse into the rituals and practices surrounding death and remembrance in Caribbean culture.

A Community Celebration

“Objeks & Tings” is not just an exhibition; it’s a celebration of the enduring legacy of the Windrush Generation. The collaboration between Museumand and York Museums Trust underscores the shared cultural heritage and the significant contributions of Caribbean immigrants to British society.

The exhibition invites visitors to explore the personal stories and cultural artifacts that have shaped the identity of the Caribbean diaspora in the UK. It also aims to collect new stories and information from the Caribbean community in York and surrounding areas, adding to the growing archive of Caribbean presence in Britain.

Visitor Information

  • Dates: June 19 to November 1, 2024
  • Location: York Castle Museum, Eye of York, York, YO1 9RY
  • Opening Hours: Monday 11am-5pm, Tuesday to Sunday 10am-5pm
  • Tickets: £17 per adult, £10.20 per child, with concessions available. Tickets are valid for 12 months. Children of York residents are free.

For more information about Museumand, The National Caribbean Heritage Museum, visit museumand.org.

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