Exhibition: Departures

This exhibition runs from Wed, 19th May 2021 to Sun, 19th Dec 2021. See all dates

This event runs over several days/weeks. Dates include:

16th Oct 2021  
(11am - 5:30pm)
17th Oct 2021  
(11am - 5pm)
20th Oct 2021  
(11am - 5:30pm)
21st Oct 2021  
(11am - 5:30pm)
22nd Oct 2021  
(11am - 5:30pm)
23rd Oct 2021  
(11am - 5:30pm)
24th Oct 2021  
(11am - 5pm)

Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

Cost: Free of Charge

Departures is an exhibition exploring 400 years of emigration from Britain from the Mayflower to the present day through personal narratives, contemporary art and a range of media.

British emigration has been one of the largest movements of people in modern history. Tens of millions of people have left the British Isles over the past 400 years. Today, some 75 million people across the world self-identify as having British ancestry, greater than the population of the UK itself.

But while immigration dominates debates, Britain’s emigration story is often overlooked. Why is this? Who are the many millions who have departed these shores and why did they go? Can exploring their motivations help us better understand the motivations of people who arrive? What impact has this mass movement had on the world – and on Britain?

Departures puts this lesser-explored story at centre stage. The exhibition features dozens of emigration stories spanning four centuries – from Mayflower Pilgrims to Windrush deportees, Cornish and Welsh emigrants to South America to ‘Ten Pound Poms’, Black Londoners resettled in Sierra Leone in the 1780s to Black Britons who have recently moved ‘back’ to their parents’ countries of birth across West Africa, and Britons currently living across the EU who are facing up to Brexit.

Visitors will embark on an immersive journey starting in a ‘Departures Lounge’ featuring guidebooks for emigrants and an animated timeline, proceeding through ‘Passport Control’ to a series of themed ‘Departure Gates’ exploring different reasons and motivations for leaving, finishing in an interactive ‘Baggage Reclaim’ hall in which visitors are invited to share their thoughts on the complex legacies of British emigration.

Welcome to Departures. Your journey begins here.

Contact and Booking Details

More information at this website.

No need to book tickets - just turn up on the day.


Migration Museum,

Lewisham Shopping Centre,
SE13 7HB

Map of Migration Museum