LEICESTER has been announced as one of seven UK cities that will host a national art education project this year that aims to transform understanding of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
The World Reimagined will bring a trail of 10 stunning globe sculptures to the streets of Leicester from Saturday 13 August.
With themes such as ‘Mother Africa’ and ‘The Reality of Being Enslaved’, the globes will be created by both new and globally-recognised artists to highlight the reality and impact of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
And it’s not too late for local artists to get involved. The call-out is now open for UK-based artists who would like to design one of the 10 fibreglass globes that will feature in the Leicester trail – with 31 January the deadline for entries.
Their designs will sit as part of a national programme that features a globe designed by the project’s founding artist Yinka Shonibare CBE (pictured) – a Turner-prize nominee whose work has been showcased around the world.
The art trail will be the centre of a broader learning and community programme – with schools, community groups, sporting and cultural institutions from across Leicester taking part – and will deliver significant community benefit, as well as providing the city with a new and thought-provoking visitor attraction.
Members of the World Reimagined team will work closely with people and organisations across Leicester to ensure that the final trails and activities are deeply connected to Leicester’s communities, while schools have until 31 January to apply for bursaries and artist residencies as part of the project.
More information for schools and colleges is available here: www.theworldreimagined.org/learning
Global public art producers Wild in Art, who have a proven track record in creating world-class events – including last summer’s ‘Rockets Around Leicester’ – are working with the World Reimagined team to deliver the project.
Michelle Gayle, co-founder of The World Reimagined, said: “If we’re going to make racial justice a reality for all, it calls on us to courageously face our shared history with honesty, empathy and grace. If we do that, we can create a future in which everyone can say I’m seen. That’s the mission of The World Reimagined and we’re so delighted to work with the people and communities of Leicester.
“The response we’ve had so far from communities, artists, schools – everyone – across the country shows the desire for a multi-dimensional telling of our shared history – honouring the many people and organisations who have worked in pursuit of racial justice and extending an invitation to all to join the conversation. We hope you will join us.”
Leicester City Council is supporting The World Reimagined project with a £50,000 grant.
Assistant city mayor Cllr Sue Hunter, who leads on work to tackle racism and disadvantage, said: “This national project will help improve our understanding of a dark period of history that is perhaps not talked about enough – and by learning about the mistakes of the past, we can ensure they aren’t repeated in the future.
“Today, Leicester’s diversity is its strength and I hope that this stunning trail of artworks will inspire us to come together and imagine a future where everyone is treated with dignity – and where equality, diversity and racial justice are universally cherished.”
Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our city to be part of a national art project and we look forward to welcoming The World Reimagined to Leicester this year.
“These impressive globe sculptures will be the centre of a broader education and engagement programme that will involve schools, community groups and other organisations across the city.
“Not only will they provoke debate and help improve our understanding of the impact of the slave trade, but they will also bring a spectacular splash of colour and new interest to the streets of Leicester this summer.”
The World Reimagined will take place in Leicester from 13 August – 16 October 2022.
Alongside Leicester, The World Reimagined will bring art trails to Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool City Region, London and Swansea – with 250+ schools and colleges taking part, and 2m+ visitors expected to engage with the trails.
UK-based artists wishing to get involved can find out more at www.theworldreimagined.org/artistopencall/
'The World Reimagined' globe by founding artist Yinka Shonibare CBE (artist impression)