Michael Mcmillan – The Front Room

Michael McMillan – McMillan is a writer/curator who edited the book The Front Room: Migrant Aesthetics in the Home in collaboration with Stuart Hall. The book is a unique study which explores the position of the home in migrant groups. It specifically documents and investigates The West Indian Front Room and how the experience of growing up in the post-colonial Caribbean is affected by this significant setting. The Front Room follows an exhibition curated by McMillan at the Geffrye Musuem between 2005-2006. The text is a mixture of anecdotes from McMillan’s life and discussion about cultural identity and home aesthetics in relation to culture. I am exploring the significance of the family home/setting and how it invokes nostalgia and plays a role in forming our memories, so this book/ exhibition acts as good reference as it shows the connection between memories of home and identity, specifically cultural identity. It also looks at this element of shared memories as its discussing the west Indian room and how some elements of this room are found throughout this one culture. So, aspects of the room appear as societal experiences and memories as they are present in all west Indian homes.  Also, as someone who grew up in the Caribbean, specifically Barbados, I have a personal connection to this reference and can identify elements in the front room that were present in my own home. Additionally, the rich, artificial images from the exhibition are good visual inspiration and reference for the styling of shoot one’s location.


Olivia Ezechukwu

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