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14 June 2024

Celebrating Windrush and Caribbean-British Culture: The Flags of Boscombe

Boscombe is set to come alive with a vibrant display of colour and culture this summer as the Bournemouth Coastal BID, in partnership with the Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe (BEAF), proudly presents “The Flags of Boscombe.” This year’s installation is particularly special, as it pays homage to the Windrush Generation and celebrates the rich tapestry of Caribbean-British culture.

The inspiration for this year’s flags comes from Arts England’s call to artists to create colourful pieces of work that demonstrate Britain’s DNA and heritage. Answering this call is Kemba Earle, a talented graphic designer and illustrator with Caribbean-British heritage. Kemba’s designs for the Boscombe flags draw from key elements that have influenced and shaped Caribbean-British culture, such as music, food, hairstyles, and carnival.

Artist Kemba Earle

Each flag tells a unique story:

Music: This flag celebrates the influence of Caribbean Sound System culture on the UK music scene, with genres like Reggae, jungle, drum and bass, dubstep, garage, and grime all tracing their roots back to this vibrant musical tradition.

Food: Traditional Caribbean cuisine, a fusion of African, European, and Cajun cooking, has become mainstream in the UK. This flag honours dishes like rice and peas, jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish, and fried plantain, which have become beloved staples.

Hair: Afro-Caribbean hairstyles, including braids, cornrows, twists, weaves, wigs, and extensions, are celebrated in this flag as a means of expressing creativity, embracing cultural identity, and forming a crucial part of one’s identity.

Carnival: The final flag pays tribute to the Notting Hill Carnival, which has become a symbol of Black Britain and the unification of diverse identities across London and the UK since its inception in 1966.

Music Flag

Hair Flag

Kemba’s bold, abstract, and eye-catching designs use a collage style with minimal details, bright colors, and geometric shapes inspired by the flags of Caribbean islands. The result is a stunning visual representation of the contributions and influence of the Caribbean community on British society.

In addition to the flags, the Bournemouth Coastal BID has also installed a pagoda on the High Street and enhanced the area’s pedestals with plants, creating a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere for residents and visitors alike.

Flags of Boscombe

As you stroll through Boscombe this summer, take a moment to appreciate these beautiful flags and the stories they tell. Let them serve as a reminder of the rich diversity that makes our community so special and the enduring legacy of the Windrush Generation.

The Flags of Boscombe will be on display throughout the summer, so be sure to visit and experience this stunning celebration of Caribbean-British culture for yourself!

Boscombe High Street