Swansea is one of seven host cities for The World Reimagined

10th August 2022
Pauline Bailey completing her globe for Birmingham trail

Swansea is set to be one of seven cities who will be part of The World Reimagined education project and Swansea City are supporting with their own globe located on Princess Street.

The World Reimagined, supported by SKY, is a UK art education project focusing on better understanding shared histories to make racial justice a reality with events running from August 13 – October 31.

Swansea, along with Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool and London, are getting ready to transform their streets with globes – each designed by an individual artist who is responding to themes ranging from Mother Africa to Still We Rise and Expanding Soul.

The globes will bring people together and allow them to engage in complex conversations around who we are as a society; stimulate dialogue, raise consciousness, and create social change. At a time when political, social, and economic context continues to evolve, The World Reimagined seeks to platform art, colour, symbolism, and more importantly stories.

It goes beyond just exploring the legacy of the Transatlantic Enslavement of Africans. The story of people of African origin is much more expansive than the Slave Trade, and this art project celebrates and champions that.

Michelle Gayle, co-founder of the project said: “There is such a huge part of the British educational system - the history - that omits Britain’s true role in the Transatlantic Trade of Enslaved Africans and the impact its legacies has on our world today. I have seen some of the incredible works these artists have put into designing their globes, and cannot wait for everyone across the country to experience the wonder, vibrancy and impact of art .

“People are ready to engage with this subject matter but often aren’t sure where or how. I hope this public art trail will help facilitate that journey and be the entry point to that conversation. It’s been truly remarkable to see how schools and community groups have been engaging with the project - from looking at Africa before the Trade to honouring those who resisted and broke through."

Each city has up to ten globes with the tenth globe designed by an artist in collaboration with community members local to the trail.

An artists impression of Yinka Shonibare globe in a city centre.
An artist's impression of Yinka Shonibare's The World Reimagined Globe Render

Yinka Shonibare CBE chose the form, a globe, for all the sculptures which are individually painted on by commissioned artists. All globes are uniform in shape and size. The globe itself, for Yinka, symbolises the relationship between Africa and the rest of the world, and presents an opportunity to reimagine the territory and legacy of colonialism, in particular the scramble for Africa.

Yinka comments: “If you start from the map and look at the relationship of Africa and the rest of the world, you retrieve movements and moments from the past. You can’t understand the present, without understanding your past.”

Each artist has developed powerful narratives through art inviting audiences, locally, nationally, and internationally to engage and experience the themes stemming from the Journey of Discovery. Stories that are rooted in deep heritage, identity, history, race, and place are just some of the elements viewers can expect to see on these globes.

There are more than 100 artists involved across the seven cities including poet and artist Julian Knox (aka Julianknxx), London based Saint Lucian photographer artist, filmmaker and historian Fiona Compton, visual artist Shannon Bono and contemporary artist Kimathi Donkor with every artist approaching this with a unique perspective; adding their voice and viewpoint to reimagining the world.

The artists whose work will be displayed in Swansea are Abbi Bayliss, Hazel Blue, Laura Bolton, Joanna Cohn, Joshua Donkor, Parys Gardner, GE, Kyle Legall, Mfikela Samuel, and Carol Sorhaindo. You can find out more about these artists here.

A close up of the globe painted by Carol Sorhaindo for Swansea. There are two hands holding a white flour, a landscape with plants, trees and mountains.
Carol Sorhaindo's globe which will be displayed in Swansea

Carol's globe is the one supported by Swansea City and the trail will shine a bold new light on Swansea and all the cities involved.

It will not only bring people together but will be a moment where an exchange of ideas, solutions and discussions can be had about some of the most pressing issues of our time. The countdown to the final design will create a body of work that will transform the UK streets.