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Derby West Indian Community Association – Derby Museum, March 2022

Another fascinating exhibition at Derby Museum exploring the rich history of the Derby West Indian community. It consists of a rich diversity of artefacts gathered together to tell the story of the heritage of Derby West Indian Community Association (DWICA). This includes Windrush generation memories and the experiences of younger members growing up in Derby.

The exhibition explores how the association has survived over six decades and positively adapted to the changing local scene to support the local community. The legacy of the DWICA is strong as it has a timeline of many social, cultural, educational and sporting achievements. The vibrancy and spirit of Derby Caribbean Carnival emanated throughout the space in colour, music and form.

Some exhibitions which bring together cultural history can easily become a show and tell experience with little or no space for personal reflection or interpretation. However, the audio stories, visuals and music in this exhibition came together to create a richness that carried me away into the hearts and minds of the people who had grown this community organisation from the ground up against significant challenges.

It’s important to reflect back on how difficult it has been (and in many cases, still is) for people to settle in this country. The message I took away was how critical the creation of a community hub is to the survival of new settlers, both early in the establishment of that community but also to create a repository of memories for future generations.

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