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Learning zone looking for memories

ONE WOMAN SHOW: Annette Robinson

THE ONLY large-scale exhibition set up to showcase and celebrate 50 years of Jamaican Independence in the UK has been an outstanding success, as hundreds of visitors poured in to view the island’s history on display at the Community Gallery at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

The project is the outcome of the efforts of one woman – Annette Robinson of The Kingsway Project who set herself the daunting task of assembling the history and heritage of Jamaica.


Even with being turned down repeatedly by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Robinson remained steadfast in her efforts which were recognised and supported by the Arts Council, the Drum arts centre and RAFFA.

As it draws to a close, the project director is inviting people to come along to a plenary event on September 29, between 12 noon and 2 p.m. at the museum’s Learning Zone in Great Charles Street, where the Community Gallery is based.

It’s a chance for supporters and participants of the exhibition to get together. Importantly, too, is a request by Robinson for people with relevant photographs or memories to share of how they began their new lives in Birmingham during the 1950s and 60s to come out.

“I’d love to hear people’s stories of how they settled here in Birmingham, along with their memories of celebrating Jamaican independence in 1962 either in Jamaica or here in Birmingham. I’d also like to hear from people who celebrated this year’s Independence Day by going back to Jamaica.”

All new material collated during the event will be offered to Birmingham Central Library as a record of how ‘Jamaica 50’ was celebrated in 2012 and as a way of developing Birmingham’s archives as it relates to the lives of people of Jamaican and Caribbean heritage.

It’s hoped that a permanent home can be secured for Jamaica 50 in the future, where members of the public can easily access the exhibition so as to build on, preserve and share the lives of people of Caribbean heritage into the future.

The exhibition will close on September 30 and will move to The Public Arts Centre in Sandwell from October 3 - 19.

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