Explorers Family Festival: The Nature of the Caribbean Islands

Ornamental mosque dome
  • 23 October

  • 12.00-18.00

  • Across the Museum

The Caribbean Islands are teeming with wonderful nature!

Join us on Sunday 23 October as we celebrate the Caribbean Islands and its people. Meet artists, anthropologists, and scientists from Caribbean backgrounds as they share how the nature of the islands has inspired their work. Bring your friends and family along for a day packed with fun free activities, talks and tours.

Visit the Explorers Desk in Hintze Hall on the day to find out more or to guarantee your space for the activities. 

Free talks

Co-existing with Volcanoes

Jazmin Scarlett is a historical and sociological volcanologist. Her curiosity in volcanoes was sparked by the stories her Grandpa recalled about St Vincent. Jazmin's research focuses on the most active volcanoes of the Eastern Caribbean Volcanic Arc. Learn about how these volcanoes not only shape the local geography but also the lives and communities of the people that live in their shadows.


Darwin Centre Atrium

Tracing the African Legacy in the Caribbean

In honour of Black History Month, let’s celebrate the Afro-Caribbean anthropologists and naturalists who've come before us. Join Gizeh Rangel to learn more about Black researchers and their work on the African diaspora that provided insight into the combination of cultures found in this region, resulting from a mix of different communities and an adaptability to new a natural environment.


Darwin Centre Atrium


The Story Behind Aluminium Foil and the Cockpit Country

In 1738 a treaty was signed between the Maroon Resistance and the colonial governance of Jamaica that enabled the preservation of an area of well-endowed rainforest known as the Cockpit Country of Jamaica. The area is where humans and nature try to live together amicably and so there is both farming and landscape nurturing taking place… at least until recently.

Come and hear from Community Centred Knowledge what happens when human greed outweighs nature’s needs and why we might need to think about what we do in our kitchens.


Darwin Centre Atrium

Survival By Sea in Dominica: Hurricane, Despair, Repair.

The sea connects the islands' people and in the aftermath of hurricanes it opens inter-island pathways for refuge, aid and trade. Climate change is causing the sea to rise and heat up, intensifying hurricanes, which in turn bring sea surges that cause destruction. Anthropologist Adom Philogene Heron explores how a coastal community in Dominica was affected by, and have tried to heal from, the devastation of Hurricane Maria through their relationship with the sea.


Darwin Centre Atrium

Ancestral Libations

How do we honour our enslaved ancestors when there are no graves? Lucille Junkere's work is a tribute to Africans enslaved on Jamaican plantations, whose stories she encounters through her ongoing indigo dye and tropical pigment research. She presents this work, inspired by West African masks, as an alternative to the African Caribbean ritual of pouring rum onto the ground as an offering to spirits and deceased souls.


Darwin Centre Atrium

Aerosols: Invisible Drivers of Big Change

Have you ever looked up and wondered why the sky is blue? Or why clouds look so fluffy? Or if the air we breathe is the same air that others breathe on the other side of the world? Join Atmospheric Scientist Lara Lalemi and Climate Scientist Marjahn Finalyson in a discussion about how the smallest things have the largest effects on our climate and what impact this has in the Caribbean region and around the world.


Darwin Centre Atrium

Free activities 

Storytime at the Museum

When Nico's new classmates see him making friends with birds they call him Bird Boy, but he embraces that nickname and makes it his own. Join Nico in imagining yourself living the lives of different birds, then make your own bird friend to take home.

Children must be accompanied by an adult 

Suitable for ages 3-8 

11.00, 13.00, 14.00 and 15.00

Book your spot and meet at the Explorers Desk, in one of the Wonder Bays in Hintze Hall

Lasting Impressions Gallery, Red Zone

Ananse's Wisdom Warriors

Explore what it means to be 'wise' with Ananse, the God of Stories, Wisdom and Knowledge. Hear Caribbean elders recall the tales of Ananse and take part in a spider pinecone activity for a chance to listen and share your knowledge about the world.

Children must be accompanied by an adult

Suitable for ages 7-12

14.00 and 16.00

Book your spot and meet at the Explorers Desk, in one of the Wonder Bays in Hintze Hall

Flett Events Theatre, Red Zone

Tank Room Tour: Caribbean Special 

This special edition of the Spirit Collection Tour by Patrick Campell will focus on specimens from the Caribbean region.

14.00 and 16.00

Book your spot and meet at the Explorers Desk, in one of the Wonder Bays in Hintze Hall

Black History Tour

Join our Principal Curator of Crustacea Miranda Lowe and hear the untold stories of the contributions of Indigenous people to natural history.

14.00 and 16.00

Book your spot and meet at the Explorers Desk, in one of the Wonder Bays in Hintze Hall

Make and Take: Soufrière Hills Volcano

Get crafty with Rose and Atlanta from the British Geological Survey and become a volcanologist by making your own model of Soufrière Hills volcano. Your 3D model will show how magma forms creates the explosive eruptions. You can also take a look at some real volcanic rocks, and learn how eruptions have impacted those living on Montserrat.


Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Suitable for ages 5+


Angela Marmont Centre 

A Caribbean Six Sacred Elements Experience

Take a tour through an ‘elemental-scape’ of the forces of nature, nurture and neglect that have been part of the shaping of the Caribbean. In this multi-sensory, immersive experience curated by Mama D that you will never forget, you'll learn from the live sounds, tastes, smells and sensations about the foodscapes that make up the tropical arena that so many Londoners call home.


Book your spot and meet at the Explorers Desk, in one of the Wonder Bays in Hintze Hall

What is the Explorers Family Festival Series?

The Explorers Family Festival is a free series of events that showcases the relationship that different cultures and communities have with the natural world. It is part of the Explorers Programme - an initiative that encourages and supports people from Black, Asian, Arab and other racially marginalised communities to pursue careers in the natural history sector.

Find out more