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Artwork by Patrick DolanMore Information

‘Community Capsule’ highlights the work of Caribbean soldiers

I remember being told at school that Winston Churchill had once claimed that the ‘British’ stood alone against the might of Hitler’s Germany.  What I never realized until I was much older that when Churchill meant ‘British’ he was talking about the whole of the British empire, British ‘subjects of the Queen’ in Africa, Caribbean, the Indian sub-continent, Burma as well as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

During the war the British Empire raised a total of 8,586,000 men to fight, nearly four million men and women came from Britain’s colonies. Thousands died, and many more were wounded or spent years as PoWs. Yet for the past century, their sacrifice has been largely ignored.

In 2014, the world will be holding events to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.  Many books will be published, yet most will leave out the contribution of people from the former colonies.  The two ‘World Wars’’ really did involve the world, with sacrifices from people across the globe. It is therefore an apt time to remember the contribution made by the black community in Nottingham to the war effort.

Over the past year the Nottingham Photographers’ Hub have been working with the Nottingham Black Archive to record and archive the contribution made to the war but Nottingham’s black community. The project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has provided an opportunity for the community to recount their lives and histories, in their own voices. More importantly, the project has meant we are able to leave a legacy, which future generations of people can access. They will be able to do this through objects, a DVD, website, book and other materials.

The advancement of digital photography has increasingly meant that almost anyone can document his or her life, something that will bring a new light to the Heritage work in the future. At the Photographers’ Hub we harness the power of photography with people who may not access the arts. This inevitably means using photography to build ‘historical traces’ to inform and empower people, showing how Nottingham has a rich multicultural and pluralistic tapestry.

The project is launched Friday 7th February 2014 at the New Art Exchange,, 6pm to 9pm 39 – 41 Gregory Blvd, Nottingham NG7 6BE Tel 0115 924 8630

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