The World Reimagined

The World Reimagined is an art heritage endeavour intended to present the history of slavery and its lasting impact in the Americas, the UK, Europe, and North America.

The World Reimagined is the work of a large, international team guided by artistic director Ashley Scott Shaw Adjaye. In 2022, seven UK cities saw the unveiling of more than one hundred unique globes designed by artists, each exploring the history, legacy and future of the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans. The first globe design for The World Reimagined was conceived by the project's founding artist, Yinka Shonibare. Trails of the globes in each of the seven cities form the centre of a broader education and engagement programme with hundreds of schools, community groups, and sporting and cultural institutions across the country. Putting Black history temporarily in plain sight, the globes challenge passers-by to consider the multiple aspects of African bondage and its permanent marks.

A a team of researchers from CSLBS produced thirty case studies for The World Reimagined's Journey of Discovery History Collection. The collection as a whole features stories and images taken from community projects and artists working across the country, within which the CSLBS contributions provide a broad historical underpinning to the wider project website. These studies were drawn from across the period of British slavery and beyond, and aim to give a well-rounded grounding in key historical aspects of experiences of British slavery, the transatlantic slave trade, British economic development and the role of enslavement, campaigns for abolition, notable Black lives in Britain, locally-rooted links to host cities, and cultural legacies.

Each individual case study serves as a jumping-off point for further exploration and for wider reading on key historical themes, engagement with local archives, museums, and other collections, and connections to the local trails, artworks, and community events.

Project dates: 2022.
Project team: Matthew J. Smith, Matthew Stallard, Jess Hannah, Hannah Bekkers, Isaac Crichlow, O.D. Jones, Zach Myers, and Rohan Shah.

The World Reimagined