Throughout June, Cast Iron celebrates the Caribbean with a series of special programmes on BBC Radio 4.
Big Drums on Little Carriacou
BBC Radio 4
5th June 2018
Zakia Sewell returns to the home of her grandparents, Carriacou, a tiny island off the coast of Grenada, to learn about the island’s Big Drum tradition – an African ritual passed down through generations since the slavery era.
Her great grandfather belonged to a Big Drum group called the Lambert Brothers, who performed an African drumming ritual for the Queen when she visited Grenada in 1965. She’ll talk to drummers and drum-makers who keep the tradition alive, and with local historians and folklorists on the tiny island, she learns how the Eastern Caribbean has maintained its connection to Africa for over 300 years.
Caribritish: Children of Windrush
BBC Radio 4
8th & 15th June 2018
In a pair of programmes to mark the 70th anniversary of the docking of the Empire Windrush, Hugh Muir explores what it means to be British Caribbean today. Recorded in Britain and the Caribbean, Hugh acts as a pivot between the different generations, drawing out the shifting sense of connection to the ‘homeland’ and the ‘adopted land’.
Behind Hugh is his old dad, now living in Jamaica, who he visits in the first programme. He arrived to Britain on a mission to better himself and return home in the 1950s.
In front of him, are the younger British Caribbeans: his daughters, the producer Zakia and others. In the second programme he asks whether the legacy and experience of the Windrush generation is still important to them today. Through their passions, work, aspirations and preoccupations we’ll hear if there is a strong connection to the language, culture and heritage of the Caribbean, and how younger people experience this in Britain today.