The Caribbean Takeaway is an important cultural meeting place in the Caribbean community. A home from home, the kitchen is where meals are prepared, but also where stories are exchanged and shared. Going back to African roots, cooking and the Dutch pot or cooking pot was the central place for the family activity. The takeaway has just as much cultural importance as the barbershop and the hairdressing salon for black communities living and working in the UK.
Ten selected Caribbean elders from the Windrush generation, who arrived in the UK between the 1940's-1960's shared their stories with the public using voice and sound recordings. Their stories reveal their journeys, the impact of their contribution to British society and their legacy.
Artist EVEWRIGHT devised a further intervention in the takeaway café space created wall and table collages in conjunction with special limited-edition portraits of the participants using photo etching as a medium. The art installation is an immersive experience which depicts present images but also fading thoughts, aspirations and memories created to document and reflect participants lives. Even some personal documents are shown such as one elder’s original passenger ticket that he bought for his passage to England in 1961 also a letter of a family member in the Homeland asking to receive financial remittance. This project, Caribbean Takeaway Takeover: Identities and Stories, is exhibited free to the public at S&S Caribbean Café & Takeaway, a focus for the black community in Colchester UK. Although the story of migration has always been a current one, this installation helps to give insight into the lives of these ten British adventurers from the Windrush Generation.
The space is taken over, repurposed and transformed into an art installation where sound recordings of the elder's stories are played throughout the day. The takeaway will continue to function as an eatery allowing visitors an opportunity to sample Caribbean cuisine and experience the stories in a unique environment.