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The World Reimagined is a ground-breaking, national art education project to transform how we understand the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans and its impact on all of us.
For too long, the history of the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans has been untold, mistaught or misrepresented. In the UK, we celebrate with pride the Trade’s abolition - but the people who were enslaved and their descendants; Britain’s role in the Trade’s creation; and the Trade’s devastating legacy are usually missing from how history is told. This is not ‘Black History’, this is all of our history.
We are living in a key moment for racial justice. It calls on us to courageously face our shared history with honesty, empathy and grace.
Together, we can create a future in which all can say:
I am seen.
That is the mission of The World Reimagined.
The latest News, Events and Opportunities from The World Reimagined.
The World Reimagined will see trails of large Globe sculptures in cities across the UK in August-October of 2022, created by artists to bring to life the reality and impact of the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans.
The Globes will be created by both established and undiscovered artists, alongside Globes created through unique collaborations that bring together communities and icons with artists.
The trails will be the centre of a broader learning and engagement programme - with hundreds of schools, community groups, sporting and cultural institutions taking part across the country.
The World Reimagined is a vibrant project that will inspire pride in what it means to be Black and British and help us all better understand what it means to be British.
Join our Journey of Discovery – 9 themes that give us the opportunity to reimagine our past, present and future.
In the coming months, we'll be sharing a collection of stories, images and artefacts that vividly bring to life our shared history.
Our Journey of Discovery is the foundation of all that we do.
Mother Africa explores the richness and reality of Africa before the Transatlantic Slave Trade; the impact of the Slave Trade and Empire on Africa; and considers and celebrates the present and future of Africa.
The Reality of Being Enslaved is about making real the experience of those people who were enslaved, from their capture and voyage to lives enslaved in different contexts, places and generations.
Stolen Legacy: The Rebirth of a Nation brings to life how Britain was transformed as a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the free labour of the enslaved. It explores the legacy of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in building the financial and trading power of Britain; strengthening the Church and the might of universities; and establishing dynastic influence and power.
Abolition & Emancipation shares the story of the Campaign for Abolition, its key events, heroes and allies. However, it also lays bare the full, messy motivations and process of abolition, which were not as pure as often represented.
A Complex Triangle explores the impact on destination countries; their relationship with the ‘Mother Country’; key historical events in the relationship such as the Windrush; and the legacy of the Transatlantic Slave Trade on the UK’s role and reputation in the world.
Echoes in the Present focuses on how the Transatlantic Slave Trade has present day negative consequences: systemic inequalities and injustice; entrenched racism and prejudices; and generational echoes with traumatic physical, behavioural, psychological and material consequences.
Still We Rise recognises and honours the enslaved and their descendants who resisted, who succeeded, and who broke new ground. It will share the well-known and celebrated, and shed light on untold legacies and events.
Expanding Soul celebrates the spirit and culture that, even in the face of incredible physical suffering, has endured, stayed vibrant and found expression across the world in music, art, food and so much more.
Reimagine the Future gives us free rein to imagine the society we can create when we have a full understanding of our shared history; the place the UK can hold in the world when it acknowledges its past; and who we can be as people when we give full dignity to all.
With Globes as their canvas, our artists bring to life the Journey of Discovery in trails across our host cities.
Nicola is a critically acclaimed artist and social historian. Green has established an international reputation for her ambitious projects that can change perceptions about identity and power; exploring themes of race, religion, gender, and leadership. Green has gained unprecedented access to iconic figures from the worlds of politics, religion, and culture, including collaborations with Pope Francis, President Obama, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dalai Lama.
Driven by her belief in the power of the visual image to communicate important human stories, Nicola Green chooses to assume the role of ‘witness’ to momentous occasions taking place across the globe. Inspired by her own mixed-heritage children and multi-faith family, she creates and preserves religious, social, and cultural heritage for future generations.
Recording these events as they happen, and investing many hours of academic and artistic research, Green builds and curates substantial archives including In Seven Days…, Encounters, Dance of Colour, House Slave Field Slave.
In 2015, Nicola Green, with ICF, co-founded the Phase I Diaspora Platform Programme; taking emerging ethnic minority UK-based artists and curators to the 56th Venice Biennale ‘All The World’s Futures’ curated by Okwui Enwezor, examining its entanglement with race, politics and power.
Following this Nicola Green co-founded and directed the Diaspora Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, showcasing 22 artists from ethnic minority backgrounds, whose work dealt with the topic of Diaspora. The Diaspora Pavilion was created in an effort to highlight and address the lack of diversity in the arts sectors and was accompanied by a 22-month long mentorship-based programme.
In 2020, Nicola Green founded the Khadija Saye Arts Programme in memory of her mentee and friend, artist Khadija Saye – who was killed in the Grenfell Tower fire. The Khadija Saye Arts Programme addresses the issue of BAME representation in the creative industries by focusing directly on the barriers that exist, starting with the most formative years, from ages 7-18.
Kimathi’s work reimagines mythic, legendary and domestic encounters across Africa and its global diaspora. Having exhibited internationally, he is the recipient of a number of awards and residencies including the 2019 De’Longhi Art Projects Artist Award.
Lakwena’s iconic, kaleidoscopic work explores how the use of adornment in worship and myth-making translates into contemporary popular culture. Lakwena has created epic outdoor murals in diverse cities from Miami to London, creating bold messages of hope in urban landscapes.
The Turner prize nominee Yinka Shonibare CBE is The World Reimagined’s Founding Artist, having conceived both the base globe sculpture and the first Globe to feature in the Trails – ‘The World Reimagined’, after which the entire project is named.
Describing himself as a ‘post-colonial hybrid’, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA creates work that explores issues of race and class through the media of sculpture, painting, photography, film, tapestries and public works.
Yinka Shonibare CBE RA was born in 1962 in London, England and moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three. He lives and works in London. Shonibare was elected as a Royal Academician by the Royal Academy, London in 2013. In 2019 he was awarded the decoration of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire or CBE. In 2021 he received the prestigious Art Icon Award from Whitechapel Gallery, London.
Shonibare’s practice questions the meaning of cultural and national definitions. His signature material is the brightly coloured ‘African’ batik fabric he buys at Brixton market in London. Batik was originally inspired by Indonesian design, mass-produced by the Dutch and eventually sold to the colonies in West Africa. In the 1960s the material became a signifier of African identity and independence.
In May 2021 Shonibare will have his largest European survey exhibition, ‘End of Empire’ at Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria. Shonibare will have his seventh solo exhibition at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London in June 2021, titled ‘African Spirits of Modernism’.
Drawing on themes of human hybridity and transformation, this new body of work juxtaposes icons of European Classical antiquity with African artefacts from Picasso’s own collection.
Schools and colleges can join in as well! Created with artists, teachers and educationalists, our learning programme is an experiential and transformative journey for students, teachers and schools. Together, you have the opportunity to create your own Globe to feature in The World Reimagined. Find out more and sign up today Sign Up
For decades, people, organisations and communities have been doing the powerful, often unheralded work of making racial justice a reality and bringing this history into the light. In each of our host cities, we are working and will work closely with communities to co-create spaces for dialogue; to honour and share what they do; and to invite more people to support their work.
After The World Reimagined trails leave our host cities, we will auction the Globes to raise funds to create a grant-making programme for racial justice projects and organisations across the UK.
The World Reimagined is being delivered the only way a national healing and racial justice project can be: with the support and involvement of leading organisations across sectors. Our partnerships offer a truly meaningful way to make real your commitments to racial justice, with deep community, national and global engagement for you, your teams and clients.
Join the pioneering organisations who are part of The World Reimagined family and make a powerful statement about the world you and your organisation want to create.