Updated: Apr 5
Red Light Busking presents 'Dem Live A Foreign' is our exploration into London's migrant communities and how they have helped bring a rich blend of culture to London over the past decades.
Those like myself who had parents who migrated from abroad to settle in London would know that the culture of growing up in a Caribbean household did not always match the culture of London at the time. Being an 80's baby of Jamaican heritage meant that growing up, my home on a Sunday would be filled with the scents of rice and peas cooking and reggae basslines vibrating through the house. Though different to the mainstream culture of London at the time, there is no doubt that the culture I knew from home, has become a part of London's culture as its inspired so many things such as in music and acts such as UB40 and Boy George while it has also brought millions to the land of London every year through the iconic Nottinghill carnival which is now the second-largest carnival in the world.
Similarly, we believe the Somali community is in the beginning stages of going through a similar type of transition as those of us from Caribbean backgrounds had in the early '90s. When I was in school, a popular term that kids from all nationalities would say is a Jamaican term called 'Wha Gwarn' which means hello. In our current period of 2022, we're noticing a rise in young people who come from London's urban background saying the word Wallahi which has been popularised in Somali youth slang and music.
Without a doubt, the years 2021 and 22 have been some of the most difficult years we have faced in recent times. London's inter-community relations have definitely been strained and for the migrant communities, this strain has been felt even more.
We want our event to showcase and highlight the culture and traditions of London's Caribbean and Somali communities in hopes that from it unity will be found from having an authentic understanding of the culture. We believe that in the long run, this will lead to better inter-community relationships such as feeling confident to visit restaurants, cafes etc where these community members reside.
For this project, we will create two immersive installations that give a glimpse into what home life is like for migrant cultures during special occasions. For example, the traditions of a Caribbean home getting prepared for attending Notting hill carnival's J'ouvert and a Somali home making the preparations for a wedding.
For further details on the project please have a look at this link - https://online.fliphtml5.com/evbil/udcc/#p=1