The John La Rose Ephemera Archive Collection Film

August 10, 2021

The next film about the George Padmore Institute (GPI) archive will offer an insight into the collection of ephemera that John La Rose gathered between the 1950s and 1980s, plus selected items from the 1990s. The GPI’s senior archivist Sarah Garrod explains the importance of ephemera in detailing political, social and cultural contexts to moments in time and how these items can be a valuable introduction to understanding and accessing archives. Trinidad’s David Abdulah, a long-time trade unionist, political and social activist and colleague and friend of John La Rose, reveals John’s passion for collecting such materials as leaflets, programmes and posters, all with the aim of accurately recording the details of events to ensure we stay connected to the past while re-imagining the future.

The John La Rose Ephemera collection is varied and wide ranging. Along with the aforementioned leaflets, programmes and posters, the GPI archive also holds items such as banners and placards which reflect the political, social and cultural trends of the time, particularly in the UK and Caribbean. John La Rose very shrewdly recognised the value of such material to add context to events, record the ongoing activities of numerous organisations and serve as a reminder of public opinion at different points in history.

The film on the John La Rose Ephemera collection featuring David Abdulah and Sarah Garrod will be available to view on the Discover page.

For more detailed information about the John La Rose Ephemera archive collection visit the archive page here.

Sarah Garrod has over twenty years’ experience as a professional archivist, including former posts in collections management and public services at the London Metropolitan Archives and Hampshire Record Office. Sarah joined the George Padmore Institute in 2003 and has been central to the development of the GPI Archives from its infancy, as well as managing staff and the GPI volunteer team. She is committed to the sharing of knowledge and making archives as accessible as possible through delivering workshops, managing creative residencies and exhibition work.

David Abdulah is an economist, involved in the search for and development of a popular and relevant pedagogy. He is a labour and political activist committed to social transformation and justice. He is a founding member of the political party the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) and has been its leader since 2012. David spent thirty-nine years at the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (1977-2016) during which time he was Chief Education & Research Officer, Executive Treasurer and General Secretary. He was also President of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and NGOs (FITUN) and was the Industrial Relations Adviser to the West Indies Players’ Association.

David has held many public roles including being a member of the Economic Development Advisory Board; Chairman of the Board of Governors, Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative Studies; member of the Board of Directors of the Environmental Management Authority; member of the Board of Directors of the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards and member of the Cabinet appointed multi-sectoral Core Group Vision 2020.

Abdulah was Secretary for the three Caribbean Peoples International Book Fair and Book Fair Festivals held in Trinidad and Tobago. He also participated in the first three and the tenth International Book Fairs of Radical Black and Third World Books and the associated Book Fair Festivals. David Abdulah has written and lectured on a wide range of development issues throughout the Caribbean and internationally. He had the honour of delivering The First John La Rose Memorial Lecture (London, March 2010) and the annual CLR James Memorial Lecture (Trinidad, March 2017) among many others.

This film is part of the Reaching New Generations Project funded by an Arts Council England National Lottery Grant.

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Sarah Garrod and David Abdulah who are both featured in the film