The suitcase installation, ‘Bitter Sweet Arrivals’, is part of ‘Rooted’; a creative project conceived by Alvin Ferris of Kofi Arts which aims to document and present the journey of African Caribbean communities in the UK through a series of papier-mâché installations constructed from the stories and narratives across a cultural divide.
Within the many suite cases that arrived at the docks, railways and under ground stations in the UK from 1948 with the arrival of the SS Windrush Empire at Tilbury, African Caribbean people brought in them all their worldly possessions.
They arrived to a grey misty monotone Briton with their colour saturated memories of home carrying with them the hopes and dreams of building a future in a motherland that had called for their assistance in reconstruction after the war. They held a firm belief that they belonged to a colonial family; connected to a greater commonwealth that bore the heavy social and economic burden of slavery and Empire.
This installation documents those first arrivals.