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SOON: Queens of the Commonwealth Documentary – Black Tie Premiere
Via SeventyOne Media for LGK Productions
Survival, a fear of failure and a sense of duty: Twenty-two women from Commonwealth countries tell their migration story for the first time, in the year that Birmingham hosts the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Incredible women from across Commonwealth nations tell us what their journey was like, their impression of England, the racism they encountered, and reluctantly they tell us of their achievements as they overcame struggles, in a special documentary being screened on Saturday 9th July 2002, which forms part of the This Is My City Festival.
Little Dharshan came around from a horrific car crash to be told that she and her sister were the only survivors – almost her entire family wiped out.
Joy Hazel, Maureen Berry and Beverley Regis relive the football match where white players were pitted against black players and Esita Tuimanu was given just 10 days to leave the UK when her Commonwealth soldier husband decided to end their marriage. She fought for her right to stay and has worked tirelessly for others since.
Beverly Lindsay, like many people born around the world, grew up thinking ‘UK streets were paved with gold’ The reality couldn’t be more different. Hardworking and determined Beverly arrived in Birmingham from Jamaica as a teenager in the 1960s. She was a single mum-of-two before she turned 20 and lost a child to suicide – but these adversities have only propelled her forward. Beverly became the first Black female Vice Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands in a 500-year history.
And Louvina Moses, born in Tabernacle village, St Kitts, couldn’t believe it when she received an invitation from The Queen after an astonishing career in nursing:
My grandmother would have been proud to hear that me, a poor person like me, reached Buckingham Palace. Because if you’re a poor person back home, you wouldn’t think that you will be invited to Buckingham Palace. You never think you’ll get to the gates of Buckingham Palace, let alone to go inside.”
Louvina Moses and husband Wellington were forced to make the heartbreaking decision to leave their two children in St Kitts so they could pursue a new life in England in 1961. It was a decision that would drastically change her life and propel her to become one of the country’s most respected nurses.
Leaving my mother, my family was heartbreaking, but leaving my two children behind was even worse. They didn’t recognise me as their mother when they eventually arrived in England and referred to my mother as theirs.”
Every woman, from India, Pakistan, Jamaica, Cyprus, Malta and more has a unique story to tell in this unique journey. There are their real-life stories.
Produced and directed by Panikos Panayiotou and created by a team of Birmingham producers and researchers with narration by TV presenter Suzanne Virdee. Music also features specially created by Birmingham composers.
This film follows in the footsteps of Queens of Amathus which premiered in 2019 and followed the stories of women of Cyprus and their journey to Birmingham.
A black-tie premiere screening will take place on Saturday 9th July 2022 7pm at The Pavilion, Moor Lane, Perry Barr, Birmingham, B6 7AA. Tickets: lgk.org.uk/queens-of-the-commonwealth/
To accompany the premiere residents from Erdington ward in north Birmingham have been invited to create portraits of the 22 women featured in Queens of the Commonwealth.
This is my City is a cultural and sports festival which explores four commonwealth regions Europe, Asia, Caribbean and Africa through food, music and sports.
The 2022 Festival takes place at The Pavilion, Moor Lane, Birmingham B6 7AA on Saturday 9th July and online on Sunday 10th July at: festival.thisismycitybham.org.