Wednesday March 27 2019

From carnival to fashion, dub poetry to sound system culture, the influence and creative gifts of Caribbean people have become a treasured part of modern British society. Throughout history, Caribbean people have turned to culture as a form of resistance and protest, using creative expression to pave the way towards freedom, citizenship and a sense of home. 

There was no more quiet in the library as we filled the halls with music, poetry, workshops and talks, including exciting new work created by Leeds-based poets Khadijah Ibrahiim, Malika Booker, Vahni Capildeo with local communities in response to the Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land exhibition.

Marking 70 years since the arrival of the Empire Windrush, this free exhibition at the British Library shed new light on the significance of the arrival of the Windrush, and told the story of Caribbean people’s struggles for social recognition, self-expression and belonging throughout history. It also explored the ways in which art and culture have been fundamental to this struggle. In this thrilling late event we’ll be breathing life into the exhibition and reinterpreting it for Leeds audiences, with the help of a talented selection of contemporary British-Caribbean artists from all corners of the creative landscape.

We took a journey between the bookcases to discover a burst of Caribbean culture behind every shelf, featuring:

  • Ayanna Witter-Johnson
  • Anthony Joseph
  • Dub Poetry with Roger Robinson
  • Sound System Culture Panal with Khadijah Ibrahiim
  • DJ Fluid Irie
  • Open Mic with Testament


  • Leeds Sound System in Room 700
  • Sewing and Stories with Malika Booker
  • Young Ambassadors from the Geraldine Connor Foundation
  • Archival Tours with Vahni Capildeo
  • Poetry Busking