Celebrating Southampton’s Migrant Past & Present

On 17 November, Southampton City Art Gallery hosted the launch of a new book and walking tour guide by Professor Tony Kushner, of the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations and History Department at the University of Southampton, detailing the rich history of Southampton’s migrant past.

Much of that past is hidden or unknown, such as the existence of Atlantic Park Hostel on the site of Southampton Airport, built to house asylum seekers and immigrants from Eastern Europe, especially Ukranian Jews fleeing famine, civil war and mass violence, between 1922-1930, or the Basque Camp, a tented village in Eastleigh, which housed 3,880 Basque children fleeing from the Spanish Civil War in 1937.

Nazneen Ahmed, artist in residence at God’s House Tower & Art Complex read a moving poem ‘Khatam’.

Also during the launch, Chris Stephens, chair of Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group ((SWVG) and Pete White, Project Manager for CLEAR, both gave presentations about how these charities are supporting asylum seekers today.

Download a copy of the Walking Tour Guide to Southampton’s Migrant Past here