The newly announced exhibition will open at the museum on the 30th October.
Departures is a new immersive exhibition which will explore 400 years of
emigration from Britain from the Mayflower to the present day through personal narratives, contemporary art and a range of media.
The start of the exhibition will see visitors starting their journey in the ‘Departures Lounge’ featuring guidebooks for emigrants and an animated timeline, proceeding through ‘Passport Control’ to a series of themed ‘Departure Gates’ exploring reasons and motivations for leaving, finishing in an interactive ‘Baggage Reclaim’ hall in which visitors are invited to share their thoughts on the complex legacies of British emigration.
This new display will feature a wide variety of emigration stories spanning four centuries – from Mayflower Pilgrims to Windrush deportees, Cornish and Welsh emigrants to South America to ‘Ten P0und Poms’, Black Londoners resettled in Sierra Leone in the 1780s to Black Britons who have recently moved ‘back’ to their parents’ countries of birth across West Africa.
Highlights of the exhibition will include:
• An animated timeline exploring 400 years of British emigration by Bafta-nominated director Osbert Parker.
• Responses to the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage by a range of voices including Sarah Sense, an artist
of mixed Native American and European heritage; and historian Rebecca Fraser.
• The Disowned Briton, a textile tapestry by artist Rachelle Romeo, whose father was forced to prove his British
nationality for 12 years as part of the Windrush Scandal.
• The story of the ‘Dunera boys’, Jewish refugees who had sought refuge in Britain wrongfully deported to
Australia during WWII, told by TV presenter Nick Ross, whose father was one of the deportees.
• Greetings from Europe – postcards from Britons living across the EU as they face up to Brexit.
• Repats – stories of Black Britons who have moved ‘back’ to their parents’ countries of birth across West Africa.
Talking about the exhibition, Aditi Anand, head of creative content at the
Migration Museum and curator of the exhibition said: “We cannot begin to understand immigration, or contemporary Britain and its relationship with the world, without understanding Britain’s emigration story. Departures places this story at the centre of conversations around migration and identity, inviting us to reflect on the reasons why people have left these shores over the past four hundred years and how these are often similar to the reasons why people arrive.”
Departures opens at the Migration Museum (Lewisham Shopping Centre, Molesworth Street, London SE13 7HB) on 30th October 2020. It runs until June 2021.