The World Reimagined is delighted to announce its final installation of 96 globe sculptures in London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 November. In what promises to be an unmissable moment at the landmark location, the sculptures will invite families, businesses, and communities to explore how we understand our shared British history; and how the past—particularly the UK’s relationship with the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans—shapes the future.
The groundbreaking free art experience, curated by artistic director Ashley Shaw Scott Adjaye, explores themes ranging from Mother Africa to Still We Rise and Expanding Soul and comprises an enormous variety of interpretations and creative styles. It features work by both emerging talents and internationally recognised artists, including Vashti Harrison, Phoebe Boswell and The World Reimagined’s FoundingArtist Yinka Shonibare CBE.
Michelle Gayle, co-founder of The World Reimagined, said:
“Trafalgar Square is a place that has iconised British history, so it is very apt to have it host this unique collection of art that tells stories of British history that have been ignored for too long. This is a deeply powerful moment. We believe in an idea of patriotism that says we are strong and courageous enough to look at our shared past and present honestly, so we can create a better future – together. It’s not Black history – it’s all of our history. And that’s what these incredible artworks say: everyone is invited to the conversation, and we can all contribute. We hope to see you in Trafalgar Square!”
As people visit the globes, they will also be able to dive into an online collection of short, accessible stories that bring these themes to life. Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, this unique collection features contributions from historians, museums and heritage organisations, including Professor Kehinde Andrews, the British Library and UCL’s Centre for the Study of the Legacy of British Slavery.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“The World Reimagined is an important opportunity to reflect on the importance of our diversity and to shine a light on our collective stories that too often remain untold. We must remember the millions who suffered due to the Transatlantic slave trade and the impact this has had on generations of Black communities. By displaying this powerful collection of art in the very heart of London, we are acknowledging those who helped to bring about change, and are sending a strong message about our commitment to building a better and fairer London for everyone.”
Supported by the Mayor of London, the weekend-long exhibition in Trafalgar Square is the final stop in a three-month public display across 7 UK cities. The programme saw more than 200 schools and 100 community organisations get involved, either by creating their own artworks or hosting events and activities. King Charles III also paid a visit to The World Reimagined’s sculptures and learning programme in Leeds on Tuesday 8 November as a continuation of his acknowledgement that the history of the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans must be taught with the same prominence as the Holocaust.
Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
“At the National Lottery Heritage Fund we are committed to improving education and understanding of our shared history, so it is a privilege to be supporting The World Reimagined to bring these 96 fascinating globes and stories together for this exceptional moment. The globes have been capturing the attention of the public whilst they have been on display across the UK, allowing audiences to learn more about the Transatlantic Trade of enslaved Africans, unlocking histories and stories, and broadening understanding. We’re proud to have been the heritage partner for The World Reimagined programme, playing a role in bringing these important artworks together in such an iconic location.”
Whilst the Trafalgar Square exhibit is the last chance for members of the public to visit the full collection of globes, 18 globes will be auctioned by Bonhams; through an online auction through Bonhams’ official website from 17- 25 November.Proceeds from the auction will help support The World Reimagined’s learning programme, the artists involved in creating the globes and the establishment of a grant-making programme for racial justice projects and organisations.
Giles Peppiatt, Bonhams Group Head, Fine Art, UK, commented:
“The World Reimagined is an important project that explores the history of enslaved Africans through remarkable artwork and Bonhams is privileged and excited to be hosting this very special charity auction. This is a unique opportunity not only to acquire one of these incredible works of art but also to offer practical support to The World Reimagined’s vision of a fairer and more just society.”
The online auction will feature 18 globes, the designs of which respond to various themes related to racial justice and social change. Works by acclaimed artists include Race by Godfried Donkor and The World Reimagined by Yinka Shonibare CBE. Other historical themes feature works by celebrated artists including Dear Archives by Glory Samjolly and Echoes Talk Back by Curtis Holder.
Full list of works listed in the online action:
Yinka Shonibare CBE – The World Reimagined
Godfried Donkor – Race
Phoebe Boswell – Black Globes
Gabriel Choto – Unity
Larry Amponsah – Hold The Line!
Julianknxx – What’s Left of Us?
Curtis Holder – Echoes Talk Back
Vashti Harrison – Temples for Tomorrow
Nicola Green – The World In A Waterlily, Amazonica.
Fiona Compton & Hailey Gonzales – Fire and Fury
Serena Sussex – The Inner Voice Through Music
Glory Samjolly – Dear Archives
Alison Turner – At The Hands Of The Enslaved, Our Society Was Built