An ongoing exhibition at the Museum of London Dockland explores the underrepresented history of Indian indenture in the British Caribbean. Between the 18th and 18th centuries,???????? thousands of Indians undertook the five-month-long difficult journey from India to work for the British planters in the Caribbean.
The exhibition features memorabilia from the time, including archives that give a peek into the realities of life under indenture. “As we mark the 75th anniversary of Windrush this year, Indo + Caribbean is a chance to learn more about Britain’s colonial footprint and the diverse communities from the Caribbean that have enriched our city,” said Shereen Lafhaj, Curator at the Museum of London.
Petitioning letters written to the British government from planter Sir John Gladstone, contracts, shipping company records, postcards, and papers from the Parliamentary archives are also featured as part of the exhibition, that will run until November 2023.
For the unversed, Following years of Black resistance, the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act was passed, resulting in the end of enslaved African labour in the British Caribbean. The planters then began recruiting workers from India to work on a 3-5 year contract in return for transport, basic wages, and minimal provisions. The first ship carrying migrant workers from India set sail in 1838, and by the end of indentured servitude from the country in 1917, around 450,000 Indians had travelled to the British Caribbean.