"The great force of history comes from the fact
that we carry it within us,
are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways,
and history is literally present in all that we do."
The World Reimagined is a ground-breaking, mass participation art-education project to transform how we as people, communities and a society understand the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its impact.
For too long, the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade has been untold, unheard, mis-taught or misrepresented. In the UK, we celebrate with pride the Trade’s abolition. However 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 denial of truth denies people their right to be truly seen and their lives respected.
We can create a new future in which all can say:
I am seen.
That is the true mission of The World Reimagined.
The World Reimagined will see trails of large globe sculptures in cities across the UK in the summer of 2022, taking people on a journey of discovery and understanding. The first globe design for The World Reimagined will be conceived by internationally renowned artist Yinka Shonibare CBE.
Each unique globe will be created by artists to explore and bring to life the reality and impact of The Transatlantic Slave Trade. Some globes will be created by high profile artists; others in collaboration with schools and communities.
The trails of globes will be in publicly accessible locations in cities across the UK as a national engagement campaign – online, in the media and in schools. The World Reimagined will create a platform for events that bring this story to life in partnership with others – film programmes to explore the history; lecture series with universities; community engagement with football clubs; and high-profile cultural interactions with galleries and museums.
The World Reimagined is being delivered in partnership with Wild in Art who have delivered sculpture trails with this model across the world.
We are committed to working collaboratively and respectfully with the pioneering people and organisations that have done powerful work in this space, building on their expertise and experience.
The World Reimagined is a vibrant project that will inspire and instil pride in what it means to be black and British. It will challenge racial discrimination, as we illuminate the historical black experience in a way that is accessible to everyone. It will help us all better understand what it means to be British.
"There is one world and one human race. It means that we are “our brother’s keeper”. We are responsible for one another and we must be interested and ready to learn from one another.
The World Reimagined seeks to educate one another about the journeys we have been on and how we come to be in the places we are. It invites us to come on a journey. A journey where ‘my story becomes your story, and your story, my story.’
With both our stories we will reimagine a world where there is mutual respect and dignity."
The Right Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin MBE, CD
Patron, The World Reimagined
It has been said that you can tell a great deal about a people, about a nation, by what it deems important enough to remember – and what it chooses to forget.
We would love you to join us
to navigate our own history and reimagine an honest, powerful, diverse and compassionate world
we can create together.
YINKA SHONIBARE CBE
Yinka Shonibare CBE (b. London, UK, 1962 -) studied Fine Art at Byam Shaw School of Art (1989) and received his MFA from Goldsmiths College, London, (1991).
His interdisciplinary practice uses citations of Western art history and literature to question the validity of contemporary cultural and national identities within the context of globalization.
In 2002, he was commissioned for Documenta XI to create Gallantry and Criminal Conversation. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2004, and in 2008, his survey exhibition opened at MCA Sydney and toured to the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. His public art commission Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle was displayed on the Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square, London (2010) and now on permanent display at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
His work is included in notable museum collections including Tate, London; the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Moderna Museet, Stockholm and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago among others.
In the summer of 2022, more than a hundred individually designed globes will go on display throughout the streets, parks and public spaces across cities in the UK – taking people on a journey of discovery and understanding.
The Artistic Programme
Yinka Shonibare CBE has contributed the first globe design in the series for The World Reimagined. 100 globes will be created in total and The World Reimagined will be inviting artists and practitioners to respond to the project with designs of their own.
These will include:
well-known invited artists to respond and create;
emerging and undiscovered artists will be invited to submit designs in response to the themes shared below. Through our artistic programme, we will create opportunities for artists who are often underserved and under-represented. The final designs will be selected through a transparent commissioning process.
artists working together with community groups to create a collaborative globe.
The Education Programme
Schools and colleges will also join in, adopting and designing their own smaller globe as part of an educational programme that will introduce students to a holistic understanding of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. We will create the education resources in partnership with historians, educationalists, activists and child psychologists to ensure they speak to the mindsets and attitudes of students, leading them towards compassion, empathy and creative expression. Globes designed by schools will be hosted in local communities for the campaign before being returned to the school.
Collaboration with The World Reimagined
We hope The World Reimagined will create an opportunity for collaboration with like-minded organisations to host events aligned to the campaign - lecture and discussion series; publications; film festivals; exhibitions.
A legacy for racial justice
At the end of our activities, The World Reimagined will auction a large number of the sculptures to raise money for people and organisations doing important work for racial justice.
Founded last year and working towards delivery in summer 2022, we're still early in the journey of building The World Reimagined. But there are some clear pieces we're working towards.
If you're interested in getting involved, please get in touch.
A journey of discovery
Our activities will explore
the full reality and impact
of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Artists will be invited
to respond to themes including:
Mother Africa explores the richness and reality of Western Africa before the Transatlantic Slave Trade; the impact of the Slave Trade and Empire on Western Africa; and considers and celebrates the present and future of Western Africa.
OF BEING ENSLAVED
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.
THE REBIRTH OF A NATION
Stolen legacy: The Re-Birth 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 on building the financial and trading power of Britain; on strengthening the Church and the might of universities; and on 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 Britain’s role and reputation in the world.
IN THE PRESENT
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 every form.
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 Britain can hold in the world when it acknowledges its past; and who we can be as people when we give full dignity to all.
WHO WE ARE
The World Reimagined is a not-for-profit company (#12501914).
We are a charitable project and restricted fund
under the auspices of Prism The Gift Fund
(www.prismthegiftfund.co.uk; charity #1099682).
The Right Reverend Rose
Hudson-Wilkin, CD, MBE
Bishop of Dover
Rose was born and grew up in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She was ordained deacon in 1991 and priest in 1994, beginning her ordained ministry in the West Midlands. For 16 and a half years she served as a priest in Hackney, North East London. In 2007 she was appointed as a Chaplain to HM The Queen and in 2010, she became the 79th and first female Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons. With the Chaplaincy, she also served as a priest in the City of London at St Mary-at-Hill. Rose became the UK's first black female Bishop, when she was consecrated and installed as the Bishop of Dover in 2019.
Lord Michael Hastings CBE
Michael is currently the Chancellor of Regent's University, London. He has previously led Global Citizenship for KPMG International and on public affairs and corporate social responsibility for the BBC. He has been an independent peer in the House of Lords since 2005 and has served as a member of the Commission on Racial Equality; the World Economic Forum's Global Councils on Diversity and Talent; Vice-President of UNICEF, Tearfund and is a trustee of the Vodafone Foundation.
Fiona is a London-based, multi award-winning Saint Lucian photographer artist, filmmaker and historian. Her work over the last 13 years has explored the various disparities in representation of the Afro Caribbean diaspora within art and mainstream media She created and runs the Know Your Caribbean Instagram account, which shares compelling history, creatively with her large following. She runs creative workshops for children and young people about the history and culture of the Caribbean and its linkages to Africa. Fiona is a powerful advocate for her history and culture and is an Official ambassador for London's Notting Hill Carnival.
Toni Fola-Alade is finishing his Final Year of Politics at St John’s College, University of Cambridge. He is the former President of the Cambridge University African - Caribbean society and co-Founded the Motherland Conference. He is a member of the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Group on the Legacies of Enslavement, examining the university’s historical links to slavery. He recently interned at Goldman Sachs and Clifford Chance LLP.
Michelle is an actor, singer and writer. She played Hattie Tavernier in Eastenders; had six top 20 hits; sold a million records, with Sweetness the biggest hit; and has been nominated for multiple Brit Awards. A regular contributor on the Jeremy Vine Show, This Morning and beyond, Michelle is passionate about telling stories that depict the struggles of women, minorities and the working class. She is inspired by her mother, who set up Black Insight, a community organisation in Harlesden to provide education and legal advice. Michelle is currently playing Hermione Granger in the multi award winning play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Ruth is a highly successful social entrepreneur as the founder of the multi award-winning youth leadership charity RECLAIM and The Roots Programme, a radical new approach to bridging divides between UK communities. Ruth is a Clore Social Fellow and an Ashoka UK Fellow and was listed in The Sunday Times as one of the 500 most influential people in the UK. She was also listed by Virgin as one of the top six female changemakers internationally; and her many awards include Manchester Peace Activist of the Year 2008, Manchester Woman of the Year in 2009; and the Northern Power Women Award 2017.
Gillian presents Sky News at Breakfast and has more than 30 years broadcast experience. She started her career with the BBC in Manchester before becoming a reporter and producer with Radio Merseyside, where she was one of the first to break the news of the James Bulger murder in 1993. Gillian has reported for the BBC’s Black Britain programme, the One and Six O'Clock News, Newsnight and BBC Radio.She has reported from across the globe, including South America, the Caribbean and Africa. She covered the death of Nelson Mandela, the 2016 American Presidential elections from both Washington and New York, and has reported on every UK General election since 2001.
Lee is a social entrepreneur and Founder of the Cherry Groce Foundation. He has been an activist for social justice for decades, since his mother Cherry's shooting by the Metropolitan Police sparked the Brixton Uprising. His path has taken him to securing a memorial for Cherry, which will be unveiled in Brixton's Windrush Square in September 2020. Shaped by his personal pursuit for justice, he uses a reconciliatory approach to secure progress. Lee is working to improve police engagement with their local communities and also assists the Inquest Family Reference Group with their strategy of wider support for bereaved families. Lee shares his experiences on platforms across the country and was awarded the Windrush Silent Hero's Award in 2015.
Dennis is the Executive Director of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights UK, an educational charity that works to inspire people to make human rights a reality in their everyday lives. Dennis co-founded the social impact agency Ubuntu London, working with leading politicians, global NGOs, and high profile activists, including honouring Nelson Mandela's co-accused Denis Goldberg, Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni. Dennis also managed Patricia Scotland QC's successful 2015 bid to become the first female Secretary-General of the Commonwealth. He is a member of the Strategic Council of the Patchwork Foundation and the Committee for the Cherry Groce Memorial.
In 1989 Dean Ricketts founded The Watch-Men Agency, a strategic and creative agency specialising in 'how people live in cities'. His background was in fashion, music and image management. The agency now has a wide variety of clients fashion - Afropunk festival - theatre - chocolatier, and a strong reputation for reaching specialist audiences and opinion leaders. His clients have included UK Transplant, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Caterpillar, BFI, Sony PlayStation, Levi Strauss, G-Star, and artists such as Des'ree and Jamiroquai. Dean also participated the production of The Windrush Gala. Dean is also on the board of Jazz re:Freshed and Jamaican music industry association JaRIA.
Join us to make
The World Reimagined
We're still early in the journey of The World Reimagined and we would love you to join us. We were planning on going public later in the year, but given the events of recent weeks it felt important to share what we are doing in the spirit of partnership.
We approach our task with humility, conscious of the responsibility of doing justice to the history and all of the lives it represents.
We hope to work with the many people and organisations who have done and are doing powerful work for racial justice, building on their expertise, experience and perspective.
The World Reimagined will be a platform that serves to honour, celebrate and share that work in a new way and will work with a development methodology that prioritises open, respectful collaboration.
If you are interested in the work of The World Reimagined, please sign up to our email updates below.
If you or your organisation would like to get involved in some way, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a range of partnership packages for sponsors, so if you or your organisation want to make a powerful statement about the world you want to reimagine and build, please email us at email@example.com