A new GPI film about the Caribbean Artists Movement Archive

The next film about the archive collections at the George Padmore Institute (GPI) is about the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM). GPI co-founder and Trustee Sarah White and Trinidadian filmmaker Christopher Laird talk about the early days of the movement, its international impact and the importance of the GPI CAM archive.

CAM originated in London in late 1966. This was a time when many people from all over the Caribbean were coming to the UK. It was set up by Edward Kamau Brathwaite (1930-2020), the poet, literary critic and historian born in Barbados; Andrew Salkey (1928-1995), the poet, novelist, academic and broadcaster born in Jamaica; and John La Rose (1927-2006), the political and cultural activist, poet, essayist and publisher born in Trinidad. The co-founders were concerned that many Caribbean writers, artists, and critics were being marginalised and did not have the opportunity to meet up and discuss their work and interests. CAM became an arena where talks, discussions, conferences, recitals and art exhibitions were held to explore new directions in Caribbean arts and culture at a time of political and social change. It expanded beyond West Indian writers and artists to encompass members from the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, Black America and the Commonwealth.

View the film on the Discover page

Find out more about the CAM archive collection by visiting the archive page

Christopher Laird is a Trinidadian filmmaker who has produced over 300 documentaries, dramas and other video productions with Banyan Ltd. Over the past 40 years he has garnered a score of national, regional and international awards. He has overseen the establishment of one of the largest digitised collections of Caribbean culture on video in the Banyan Archive. In 2003, with Errol Fabien, he founded the region’s first all Caribbean free-to-air television station, Gayelle. In 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of the West Indies.

Sarah White was born in England. Her first job was Soviet science consultant for the New Scientist, where she remained for 15 years. In 1966, she and her partner John La Rose founded New Beacon Books, the UK’s first black publisher. Sarah was active in all aspects of its book business for 50 years before retiring at the end of 2016. This period covered major cultural, political and educational movements. Sarah is the founding Trustee/Secretary of the George Padmore Institute and has been involved in building its valuable archive. She has also worked actively with other Trustees in developing its publishing programme.

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Part of the Reaching New Generations project funded by Arts Council England