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“We get to celebrate this win but the fight continues"

COMMITTEE: Simon Frederick, Floella Benjamin OBE, Paulette Simpson and Nero Ughwujabo at the Windrush monument announcement at Somerset House on Saturday (Jun 22)

WINDRUSH COMMITTEE member and director Simon Fredrick has said the artist behind the Windrush monument will need to capture “the emotion, sentiment and pride that Caribbean people have.”

The Black Is The New Black creator made the comments whilst attending the Windrush monument announcement on Saturday (Jun 22) at Somerset House.

As the UK celebrated the first annual Windrush Day, the Windrush committee announced the location for a new monument which will be situated in Waterloo station.

During the reveal, Floella Benjamin OBE shared that the Committee are now looking to commission designers to create a fitting tribute to the Windrush Generation and their descendants.

Speaking on his role within the Windrush Committee, Frederick said: “When I became a member of the Windrush Committee, my thing was to always remember the artistic side of this and how art can influence how people feel.

“I also understand through my own work how important it is for people to know that their contribution to Britain has been recognised by the institution. Through being a part of this process, I want to get people to think about what the artist will bring in, where the monument will be placed and how we make people feel about it.”

The photographer and filmmaker also discussed what he’s looking for in the artist. “I'm looking for is someone who can capture the emotion, the sentiment and the pride that we as people from the Caribbean have in what we created here.

“We’ve had to reinvent ourselves in Britain and in reinventing ourselves, we’ve reinvented Britain and we don’t get credit for that. What I'm looking for in a sculpture, artist or architect is someone who can galvanise all of that.”

While many have praised the move for a public monument in the heart of Waterloo station, critics have called for greater focus on the injustices faced by members of the Windrush Generation instead of celebration. However, Frederick feels its important to highlight both the wins and the losses.

“There comes a point where all we ever talk about is the injustices,” said the Grenadian. “Now we have something where the Government is recognising the contribution that people from the Carribean have made to the wealth and health of our society. We have to celebrate the wins, because in every loss you have a point where you get to win, and this is a win. So we get to celebrate this win but the fight still continues.”

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