The World Reimagined – which is supported by Birmingham City Council – aims to explore the city’s history – in particular, its links with the trans-Atlantic Trade of Enslaved Africans – by bringing to life the reality and its impact by remembering the past and celebrating the spirt and culture that survived.
The trail was launched in St Philip’s Square where the sculptures Dear Archives by Glory Samjolly and Unity by Gabriel Choto were unveiled. Each of the 10 globes have been designed by an individual artist based on themes including Mother Africa, Still We Rise and Expanding Soul.
Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Justice, Community Safety and Equalities for Birmingham City Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome this national and internationally significant project to Birmingham, which will not only encourage a greater awareness and conversations around racial injustice – but also to provide a visual spectacle which will inspire people across the city.
“I would like to thank The World Reimagined team as well as all the stakeholders and funders for their commitment to this project, which is vital to achieving a better understanding of our city’s history.”
The globes have been decorated by artists from Birmingham and across the UK, bringing the city to life with diverse experiences and creative styles. They include local artists Create Not Destroy, Kassessa Gandara, Gayani, Ariyaratne, Pauline Bailey, and Jay Percy, alongside Donna Newman, Tamika Galanis, Gabriel Choto, and Jess Perrin.
A tenth globe – created by artist Create Not Destroy – was inspired by collaboration with local communities. A map detailing where these globes can be found is hosted on The World Reimagined website.
Artist Gabriel Choto, whose globe is called Unity, said: “It’s been so great to be a part of this project and I look forward to the people of Birmingham experiencing and engaging with my globe, Unity. It’s been a really special moment and I hope everyone takes away something positive, enriching, and educational from these trails.
“It’s been wonderful to work alongside the other nine artists who also have their globes in Birmingham. A real moment for us to come together. Schools have also been involved with this project, with 10 small globes being featured on the trail created by schools who have taken part in The World Reimagined learning programme.”
Birmingham’s The World Reimag-ined trail coincides with six other trails in Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool City Region, London, and Swansea, which all aim to inspire and galvanise communities to better understand what it means to be Black and British. All city trails will be on display from 13 August to 31 October 2022.
Local organisations have also been keen to make a commitment to racial justice, the arts and education in Birmingham with Cass Art, GE, HUB Residential, Oval Real Estate and MARK joining UK-wide partners including SKY as Official Presenting Partner and supporters Bloomberg. The World Reimagined have also been awarded grants by Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Portal Trust, and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.