The Caribbean history mash up

26 March 2013

On Monday 25 March, Caribbean elders from across Hackney, Lambeth and Haringey came together for a 'Caribbean history mash up' at The National Archives, Kew. Elders from the communities shared their interpretations of Caribbean images from The National Archives' collection through dance, music, film, poetry and spoken word.

The Caribbean images have been digitised as part of The National Archives' World through a lens project which has seen thousands of photographs from the British Colonial Office and Ministry of Information collections released online. The Caribbean Through A Lens collection available to view on Flickr contains over 2,600 images of Caribbean towns, buildings, landmarks and people dating back to the middle of the 19th century.

Patrick Vernon OBE, family historian, filmmaker, Hackney councillor and Steering Group Member for the project, opened the event. Also taking part were spoken word artist Malika Booker, former Poet in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and performance arts collective Abela Culture, formed by Etienne Joseph and Connie Bell, who gave lively and entertaining poetry and music performances based on their interpretations of the images.  

Sharon Tomlin, Genealogist and Caribbean Family Historian, held a workshop to trace Caribbean ancestors while records specialist Jenni Orme from The National Archives helped visitors to explore the original images from the collection and use online resources.

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