Adopting Britain: 70 Years of Migration – 17 April-6 September 2015

Venue: Spirit Level at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre
Exhibition Open: Friday 17 April – Sunday 6 September, 10am – 11pm

ActionSpace was delighted that our artist Andrew Omoding was featured in this interactive, accessible exhibition about immigration as part of Changing Britain, presented in partnership with Counterpoints Arts. Southbank Centre’s Changing Britain festival interrogated 70 years of British history, focusing on society, culture and politics.

In 1951, the nationwide Festival of Britain established a feeling of recovery and progress following the Second World War. Do we still believe in its values? Changing Britain is inspired by Tales of a New Jerusalem, a series of acclaimed books by historian David Kynaston examining the social history of England after World War Two. In the run-up to the 2015 national election, with immigration high on the agenda, we ask what we can do to promote understanding and empathy for fellow human beings. In this exhibition we explore ways in which, in the midst of Islamophobia and hostility towards immigration, people have reached out to communities that are stitched into the fabric of our country. We highlight stories from British recruitment campaigns in the Caribbean in the 1950s to Indian sub-continent and Eastern European migration, and the contribution made to the British economic and social landscape. And we also explore our moral and legal obligation to protect individuals, especially children, who flee their countries in order to seek sanctuary in Britain.

This exhibition aimed to highlight some of the personal stories of migrants and refugees, celebrate the contribution of migrant groups to Britain’s artistic landscape and open up discussion around one of the most politically sensitive and pertinent topics of this year’s election.


Image above: Andrew Omoding, Man Climbing a Ladder

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