12 March 2017
Clovis Salmon aka 'Sam the Wheels' has been making films since the late 1940's. As a first generation migrant from Jamaica, Sam documented the lives and times of a the Caribbean community as they struggled to establish themselves in the UK. Based on Railton Road in Brixton which was known as 'the Frontline' Sam filmed the uprisings of the 1980's, street life, weddings, funerals and baptisms creating a unique historical archive of film footage in various formats which tells the story of the Windrush generation from within the community itself. In 2008,198's project People, Signs, Resistance digitised a small part of the archive and made it more broadly available. This material is currently on show as part of the 'Making Jamaica' exhibition at Autograph ABP. However the majority of the archive still needs to be rescued, digitised and archived so it can be made accessible to the public. We are raising these funds to undertake the crucial work of preserving Sam's films for future generations. This unique documentary collection chronicles the history and contribution of the Caribbean community to the UK, and is an essential slice of black and Caribbean British heritage.
Anyone who has lived in Brixton, and especially anyone who cycles, will know Sam. He may even have saved your life once with a bike repair, new wheel or cheap bike. Sam has been an essential part of the Brixton landscape for over 50 years, an ever present figure on Railton Road, and an active community organiser.
We are so happy with the progress so far, thanks again to all our current backers! We have been getting a lot of support from around the world, such as Jamaica, USA etc. The great news is that Kickstarter accepts payments from anywhere in the world, as long as you are using a major credit card.
It's fantastic to see the local engagement as well. Local celebrity, Linton Kwesi Johnson, dub poet, writer and musician sent us this message of support:
"I congratulate the 198 for your efforts to save these important film footage. I am a neighbour of Mr Salmon and I have been privileged to view some of the films. The material that Mr Salmon has is a treasure trove of the social and cultural history of Brixton’s black communities over half a century. It is imperative that these priceless documents are preserved."