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Former IR student explores Windrush Generation for new S4C documentary

6 December 2023

Emily Pemberton
Emily Pemberton (Credit: S4C)

A former School of Law and Politics student has shone a light on Wales’ Windrush Generation in a new documentary as part of Black History Month.

Emily Pemberton, who studied International Relations (IR) at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the school, is the presenter of Windrush: Rhwng Dau Fyd which is currently available to watch on S4C/iPlayer.

The documentary explores the Commonwealth citizens that travelled to the UK from Jamaica, Trinidad, St Lucia, Grenada, St Kitts and Barbados from the late 1940s until the 1970s, who are frequently associated with one of the first ships to arrive in Tilbury during this period – HMT Empire Windrush. This mass migration was orchestrated by the UK Government to help rebuild the country following the war, however, many of those who took up the offer, soon realised that the reality of the UK was very different to what they had been promised.

Emily’s documentary looks at her own familial connections to Windrush through letters, mementos and memories of her own grandparents, John Pemberton and Evadne Lewis who travelled to the UK in the late 1950s/early 1960s. In addition, Emily delves into the experiences of Black communities in Wales to hear about their lives and how this significant historical event still looms large for them in 2023, and the generations who have been born since. Emily also had the opportunity to speak to David Lammy, MP who has been an outspoken voice at Westminster regarding the treatment of the Windrush Generation in recent years, building on the work of lawyers and activists such as Hilary Brown who also features in the documentary.

Emily attributes some of her interest in history and factual programmes to her time at the School of Law and Politics. She said, “My international relations programmes really switched me on and made me care even more about things I was already interested in. I’m interested in combining media with politics / world affairs from the point of view of a young person who genuinely has an interest in these topics and wants to experiment with different formats/ ways of putting a documentary together.”

Windrush: Rhwng Dau Fyd is currently available to watch on S4C/iPlayer.

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