Black History Month: Cheltenham display recognises migrant stories

Image of MaureenImage copyright Noemi Filetti and Miriam Hauertman
Image caption Maureen Musomi George features in the new exhibition in Cheltenham.

An exhibition celebrating the “diverse strengths” of migrants from Africa and the Windrush generation has opened in Cheltenham.

Curator Florence Nyasamo-Thomas described the event, called I-Mmigrate, as the first of its kind for the town.

It shows a series of portraits and personal stories about how migrants came to Cheltenham and Gloucestershire.

The display, which was launched with the help of local students, runs until 24 October in Cheltenham Town Hall.

Image of Kulcha LeeImage copyright Noemi Filetti and Miriam Hauertman
Image caption Kulcha Lee reflects on his Jamaican heritage in the art show

Ms Nyasamo-Thomas said the search for people to be in the exhibition was “fascinating” and it was important to have their stories told in their “own narrative”.

“People take our stories and we don’t know what happens to them afterwards,” she added.

The exhibition by organisation Lives Of Colour took a year to curate and involved input from photojournalism students from the University of Gloucestershire.

Student Noemi Filetti said she “built connections” with her subjects, and she felt she had helped to break down walls between different communities.

Linden Denis, who features in the project, came to the UK on his own at the age of 14 in the 1960s.

He said he was not treated fairly when he arrived in London, and he later moved to Gloucester.

Mr Denis said: “People in London were not like what you read in the books back home.”

Image of Linden DenisImage copyright Noemi Filetti and Miriam Hauertman
Image caption Linden Denis arrived in London and then went to Gloucester where he trained to be become an engineer
Image of Sahra AbdullahiImage copyright Noemi Filetti and Miriam Hauertman
Image caption Sahra Abdullahi grew up in Africa but now lives in Gloucestershire

Another photo features Sahra Abdullahi, who grew up in Africa.

She has epilepsy and wanted to raise awareness of the illness there.

Another woman, Stella Osawe recollects her difficulties of trying to fit in.

“My dream was to go to school and become somebody in life,” she added.

The Windrush generation were workers who came to the UK from the Caribbean between 1948 and 1971. Many arrived on the HMT Empire Windrush ship.

Image of StellaImage copyright Noemi Filetti and Miriam Hauertman
Image caption Stella Osawe spent time in Italy before moving to the UK

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