Portraits of the “Windrush generation”

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“IT’S NOT me, it’s my shadow!” Alford Gardner says with a chuckle, looking across the OXO gallery in London at a large photograph of himself. In it he wears an azure shirt and stands in front of a studio backdrop that is a brighter blue than a British sky could ever be. Mr Gardner is 92 years old, laughs often, and is quick to say that he has enjoyed his life, “every day of it”. Born in Jamaica, he served as a Royal Air Force motor mechanic before moving to England on the HMT Empire Windrush. Around 800 Caribbean migrants made the trip on that boat; he is one of only 12 still alive. “I wasn’t expecting to live here this long,” he says. “The plan was to come here, work hard, go back home. But out here everything changed within a couple of years.” 

With this year marking 70 years since the Windrush’s arrival at the docks in Tilbury—and with the news of the Home Office’s abysmal treatment of Caribbean migrants still raw and unresolved—Jim Grover, the documentarian who took Mr Gardner’s picture,…Continue reading

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